History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


James B. Irwin

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Irwin signs a photograph of himself on the moon

James Benson Irwin, 1930–1991.  Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot; eighth man on the moon.  Excellent color photograph of Irwin on the moon, inscribed and signed Jim Irwin. 

This is a beautiful lithograph of Irwin saluting the American flag at the Apollo 15 Hadley-Apennine landing site.  The lunar module Falcon is in the background, and the lunar rover, the first on an Apollo mission, is at the right of the picture.  The photo bears the preprinted inscription His Love From The Moon, evidencing Irwin’s Christian faith. Irwin has inscribed it by hand to Eddie and Betty above the preprinted inscription and has signed Jim Irwin below it in black felt-tip pen.  The photograph is 8” x 10” and has been double matted in burgundy and dark blue to an overall size of 11” x 14”.

Apollo 15, which flew July 26–August 7, 1971, was the fourth mission that landed men on the moon.  Irwin and mission commander David Scott spent three days on the moon and more than 18 hours exploring the surface near the Apennine Mountains, which are located on the southeast edge of the Sea of Rains.  They were the first to use a motorized vehicle on the moon, the lunar rover shown in this photograph, an $8 million dune buggy that weighed only 76 pounds on the moon., ran at a top speed of 10 miles per hour, and could carry 2½ times its weight. In three moonwalks, one each day, Irwin and Scott drove the rover some 17 miles to explore the beautiful canyon of Hadley Rille, near the 15,000-foot-high Apennine Mountains, and the areas around it.  They gathered about 169 pounds of interesting rocks, including  the “Genesis” rock thought to be 4 billion years old, dating from the early solar system, and a rock that contained tiny spheres of green glass.

Irwin, an Air Force colonel, was one of 19 astronauts whom NASA chose in April 1966.  He was put in charge of testing of the lunar module.  He was on the astronaut support crew for Apollo 10, the dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing, and was the backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 12.

Irwin experienced a religious reawakening on the moon, where, he said, he felt Gods presence and power differently. He said that after his trip to the moon, he thought that his most important mission was to serve God and share his faith in Jesus Christ.  He retired from NASA in 1972 and helped to establish the High Flight Foundation, an interdenominational evangelical organization headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, seeking to help prepare students to minister as ambassadors for Christ within their chosen professions.  “Before the flight, I was really not a religious man,” Irwin wrote.  “I believed in God, but I really had nothing to share. But when I came back from the moon, I felt so strongly that I had something that I wanted to share with others, that I established High Flight, in order to tell all men everywhere that God is alive, not only on earth but also on the moon.”

Irwin also led expeditions to Turkey in unsuccessful attempts to locate Noah’s Ark, which the Bible says came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.  He reached the summit of Mt. Ararat once but was injured and had to be carried down.

Irwin, the eighth man to walk on the moon, was the first of the moonwalkers to die.  He died of a heart attack at age 61.

This photograph was taken by Scott.  The flag that Irwin salutes was deployed toward the end of the second moon walk.  Mt. Hadley Delta in the background rises some 13,124 feet above the plain.  The base of the mountain is approximately three miles (five kilometers) away.

This photograph has been double matted in burgundy and dark blue to an overall size of 11” x 14” and is ready for framing.  The photograph, which is mounted to a board behind the mat, is in very fine to extra fine condition.



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The photograph is 8” x 10” and is double matted to an overall size of 11” x 14”.

We could not scan the entire matted piece because of its size.




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