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904804

Jack Swigert

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John Leonard Swigert, Jr., 1931-1982.  American Astronaut; Apollo XIII Command Module Pilot.  Uncommon Autograph Note Signed, Jack, one page, [no date, no place].

Swigert adds a personal note, “Many thanks!  Jack,” at the bottom of a preprinted card by which the crew of Apollo XIII acknowledged correspondence in the aftermath of the aborted lunar mission. The printed message thanks the correspondent for “your kind words, your generous concern for our personal welfare, and your many prayers which you offered in our behalf during the flight of Apollo XIII.”

Apollo XIII, which was supposed to be the third lunar landing mission, nearly became NASA’s biggest space disaster.  En route to the moon, an oxygen tank exploded in the service module, disabling the spacecraft and leaving only the lunar module’s large descent engine to power the return to Earth.  Swigert made the dramatic announcement, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”  The lives of the crew hung in the balance as NASA aborted the mission and scrambled to improvise procedures to bring the spacecraft back safely.  Shutting down most of the command module’s systems to conserve batteries necessary for reentry, the Apollo XIII crew used the lunar module engine to slow the spacecraft into a return trajectory around the moon and to prropel it back to Earth.  The crew safely returned to Earth on April 17, 1970, six days after the launch.

Swigert’s autograph material is not common.  He died at an early age, 51, after being elected to Congress but before he could be sworn into office. 

Swigert has boldly written and signed this piece in black felt-tip pen.  The piece is in extra fine condition.

Unframed.

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