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Fred Haise

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Haise agrees to send signed photos of himself

and mission operations items signed by Flight Director Gene Kranz

Fred Wallace Haise, Jr., 1933–.  American astronaut; Apollo 13 Lunar Module Pilot.  Autograph Letter Signed, Fred Haise, one page, 4¾" x 8½", on plain stationery, no place [Baytown, Texas], May 10, 2005.  With original envelope.

Haiseʼs correspondence is uncommon in any form, but it is particularly scarce so in holographic letters.  Our research has found only three other Haise handwritten letters that have been sold at auction.  Collectors of Apollo Program and American space autographs therefore should be careful not to let this one pass by.

Here, Haise sends a cordial note agreeing to send signed photographs of himself and items signed by former NASA Gemini and Apollo Flight Director Gene Kranz (not present).  He writes, in full:  "Send me the names of your four sons and I will be happy to salutate pictures to return to you along with Mission Ops items signed by Gene Kranz." 

Haise is best known as the Lunar Module Pilot on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission in 1970.  Kranz ordered the mission aborted, making it instead one of rescue of the crew, after an oxygen tank exploded in the spacecraftʼs Service Module on the way to the moon.  The explosion left the Lunar Mmoduleʼs descent engine as the only engine that Mission Control thought safe enough to power Apollo 13 back to the Earth.  Kranz made the final decision not to try to turn the spacecraft around short of the moon, which would have required the crew to jettison the Lunar Module and rely on the questionable Service Module engine, but instead to put the spacecraft into a free return trajectory to take advantage of the moonʼs gravity to slingshot the spacecraft back toward Earth.  Because of altitude of their single lunar orbit, Haise and his crewmates, Commander Jim Lovell and Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert, likely hold the record for being the humans to travel farthest from the Earth.

In 1966, Haise was among 19 men selected for NASA Astronaut Group 5, which included Swigert and Apollo astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa (Apollo 14), Jim Irwin and Al Worden (Apollo 15), Charles Duke and Ken Mattingly (Apollo 16), and Ronald Evans (Apollo 17).

Haise was the backup mission commander for Apollo 16 and was scheduled to command Apollo 19 before the Apollo program ended with Apollo 17 due to budget cuts.  In August 1973, he crashed an aircraft, was severely burned over 55% of his body, and spent 2½ months in the hospital.  He subsequently worked in testing the Space Shuttle in free flight to verify the shuttleʼs flight characteristics.  He left NASA in 1979 to join Grumman Aerospace Corporation and retired in 1996.

This letter is in very fine condition.  It would be extra fine but for the one vertical mailing fold.  Haise has written and signed it in black.  The accompanying envelope has been torn open on the right end and has glue residue in the lower left corner, likely where the stamp was removed after being erroneously placed there.  There are two pieces of tape on the back where the flap was taped shut.  Overall the envelope is in fine condition.

Unframed.  Click here for information about custom framing this piece.

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