A rare photo from the first moon landing signed by the Apollo 11 crew could be yours


A rare photograph taken during the first moon landing and signed by all three of the Apollo 11 crew is to go under the hammer.

The image is one of the handful in existence to contain signatures from Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins on the same item.

The photo

It had been hidden from public view for 47 years after being given by the astronauts to John Cleland, whose car hire firm arranged limousines for the astronauts during a visit to London in October 1969.

They were in Britain for one day to receive congratulations from the Queen and prime minister Harold Wilson just three months after beating the Soviets to complete the first manned mission to the moon.

Cleland's limousine

Cleland was contacted by the US Embassy as he had a Ford branded stretched limousine, which the crew preferred to the more traditional Rolls-Royce or Daimler.

He refused to take any payment for the cars, so the Americans insisted on giving him the autographed picture as a thank you.

Almost half a century later Cleland's widow has put the image up for sale at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire.

Apollo 11 crew's itinerary

Taken by Collins, who stayed on the spacecraft throughout the mission, it shows the lunar module being guided to the moon's surface by Aldrin and Armstrong, with the Earth visible in the background.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "To have all three astronauts autograph a photo is unusual.

"But to have them signing a photo of the Eagle module leaving Apollo 11 in Moon orbit only months after arriving back on Earth in October 1969 is exceptional.

"The photograph shows the lunar module on its way to the moon from the spacecraft. The little planet in the distance is Earth - where we were all watching on television."

Apollo 11 crew's itinerary

The 7ins by 7ins photograph is being sold along with an official itinerary for the crew's day.

It is estimated to fetch between £1,000 and £1,500 when it is sold on Saturday.