DALLAS – Never before auctioned space flown mementos from the personal collection of John Young – the first man to fly into space six times, one of only three men to fly to the moon twice, and the only man to pilot four different classes of spacecraft – will highlight the April 1 Space Exploration Auction at Heritage Auction Galleries’ uptown Dallas location.
“John Young’s storied career is exemplary of what made – and makes – NASA the most visionary force in our exploration of the Solar System,” said Michael Riley, Chief Cataloger and Historian at Heritage’s Historical venues. “It’s a true privilege to offer these new-to-market Space Program treasures.”
Among the treasures from the collection are Young’s Space flown Space Suit patches from his stint as Commander aboard Gemini 10, and Young’s personal 18K Gold Omega Speedmaster Professional Watch, presented to Young in 1969 by the Omega Watch Company. Further complimenting this collection are more of Young’s Space flown suit patches, from his various missions on Gemini through the Space Shuttle Columbia, as well as an impressive and exceedingly rare Gemini Foldout Desktop Cockpit Control Training Aide that helped Young master the hundreds of control switches and breakers he would need to control the Gemini space capsule.
Retired U.S. Navy Captain John W. Young was part of the second generation of American astronauts, “The New Nine,” as they were known. It was Alan Shepard’s inner ear disorder in 1964 that afforded Young his chance to be the first of “The New Nine” to get into Space as the Pilot of Gemini 3. From the moment he first slipped the surly bonds of earth, Young would go on to log 835 hours of Space flight, as well as more than 20 hours of extra-vehicular time on the surface of the moon as Commander of Apollo 16 – he was the ninth man to step on the lunar soil.
“Most of us can only dream of space travel, but John Young did it repeatedly,” said Riley. “You may never get to outer space yourself, but this is a chance to own something that’s actually been there, and has gone with one of the most distinguished astronauts our nation ever offered.”
Young’s NASA career spanned 42 years. He retired at the end of 2004. He is an inductee into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and has been awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor as well as three Navy Distinguished Flying Crosses. John Young Parkway, a major highway in central Florida, was named in his honor.
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