A Lunar Bible or Moon Bible is one which has been carried to the moon and back. Surprising as it may sound , the lunar Bibles were produced by the Apollo Prayer League, a group of NASA engineers, scientists, administrators and astronauts, and headed by NASA chaplain Rev. John Stout, who worked closely with the astronauts and NASA personnel.
The Bibles actually made two trips into space. The first time they almost made the mood while on Apollo 12 but a mistake on the lunar landing checklist resulted in the bible orbiting the moon in the Command Module. The Bibles then made it on to Apollo 13 – the spaceship which luckily made it back to Earth despite the explosion on board that not only meant the trip was a disaster but the astronauts were lucky enough to get back alive. The Bibles finally made lunar fall on Febrauary 5, 1971 on board the lunar module Anteres attached to Apollo 14.
The rare Bibles were actually produced on microfilms – since each and every pound of weight in a spaceship matters. However the Bibles were complete in all respects – all 1245 pages of the King James version made it to the moon.
The Bible that is up for auction is accompanied by a signed certificate of provenance from Mitchell and Stout, which reads, in part: “Astronaut Jim Lovell carried all 512 Bibles on Apollo 13…which aborted and failed to land. I was then given 300 of those same Bibles to fly again on Apollo 14: 100 copies for use in a second landing attempt…The 100 lunar-surface Bibles were stowed in my PPK Bag on board our Lunar Module Antares. On February 5, 1971, they made their historic landfall with Alan Shepard and me on the Moon at Fra Mauro, and remained for 34 hours…After the flight, a portion of the Apollo 14 lunar–surface Bibles were cut–up into tiny 50 page fragments, and presented to dignitaries. Fewer then [sic] 100 complete lunar–surface Bibles thus remain in existence today. This intact copy is one of only 12 Complete Lunar–Surface Bibles I have ever flight–certified to date! As a complete printed text, it is also among the first 12 astronaut flight–certified books ever carried by mankind to the surface of another world.”
The Bible is housed in a solid 22 karat gold and jewel encrusted display which is inside a custom handmade leather clamshell case. Along with the Bible comes a a hardcover copy of “The Apostles of Apollo” by C. L. Mersch, detailing the journey of the Bible to the moon and signed on the title page in black ballpoint by Mitchell.
A superb collectors item – one that shall remain as such throughout the existence of mankind, the auction for this Bible begins on 15th September. Head on to RR Auction to register and bid.