An incredible collection of bibles which were the first-ever to land on the moon has sold for more than $130,000.

The complete set of microfilm lunar Bibles were carried on board the Apollo 12, 13, and 14 missions.

The set was made even more special as the Apollo 13 bibles survived the ill-fated mission in 1970 and returned to earth safely with the crew.

 
Unique: It is the only complete set of flown microfilm lunar Bibles to have been carried on board the Apollo 12, 13 and 14 missions

Unique: It is the only complete set of flown microfilm lunar Bibles to have been carried on board the Apollo 12, 13 and 14 missions

 

They were saved and eventually made it to the moon with the Apollo 14 mission making them the first to ever to arrive on the lunar surface.

The collection went under the hammer at RR Auction, in Amherst, New Hampshire, USA, on Friday and sold for $130,000 – just over £80,000.

The Apollo Prayer League was founded by Reverend John Stout for the purpose of praying for space missions after the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission that saw three astronauts – Ed White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee – die in a fire during a launch pad test in 1967.

 
New technology: Microfilm meant that all 1245 pages and more than 773,000 words of the Bible could be reduced down to fit on a small piece of film

New technology: Microfilm meant that all 1245 pages and more than 773,000 words of the Bible could be reduced down to fit on a small piece of film

 
The collection went under the hammer at RR Auction, in Amherst, New Hampshire, USA, on Friday and sold for $130,000 - just over £80,000
The collection went under the hammer at RR Auction, in Amherst, New Hampshire, USA, on Friday and sold for $130,000 - just over £80,000
 

Valuable: The collection went under the hammer at RR Auction, in Amherst, New Hampshire, USA, on Friday and sold for $130,000 – just over £80,000

 

 

 

 

 

Before his death Mr White had told a reporter  that he hoped one day to carry a Bible to the moon so in the aftermath of the tragedy the Apollo Prayer Group adopted the challenge on his behalf.

Due to weight restrictions on personal items that could be carried by the Apollo astronauts the Bible posed a significant weight problem that needed to be solved.

In order to make it small enough and light enough to be taken on board and so the Prayer League brought in new microfilm technology to shrink it down.

This meant that all 1245 pages and more than 773,000 words of the Bible could be reduced down to fit on a small piece of film the size of a colour slide.

Support: Soon after the Apollo 1 mission tragedy the Apollo Prayer League swelled to over 40,000 NASA employees

Support: Soon after the Apollo 1 mission tragedy the Apollo Prayer League swelled to over 40,000 NASA employees

 

Success: Apollo 14 launched in January 1971 taking with it 300 copies of the Bible in microfilm

Success: Apollo 14 launched in January 1971 taking with it 300 copies of the Bible in microfilm

 

Soon after membership in the league swelled to over 40,000 NASA employees, and efforts were begun on the Lunar Bible Project.

Reverand Stout eventually gained permission for a single microfilm copy of the King James bible to be taken on board Apollo 12.

But his efforts to get the Bible to the Moon were thwarted when the document was stored in the command module rather than the lunar module and as a result orbited the moon but never actually descended to the lunar surface.

The Prayer League then purchased a number of the microfilm Bibles and 512 were packaged up to be sent with the Apollo 13 mission in an effort once again to deliver them to the moon.

But the ill-fated mission suffered on board explosion on the way to the moon, the Apollo 13 spacecraft circled the moon and returned to earth without landing.

Despite the failed efforts of getting the Bibles to the moon on the Apollo 12 and 13 missions, the league’s dreams were finally realised when Apollo 14 brought 300 of them to the moon on February 5th 1971.

Determined Reverend Stout had split the Bibles this time, placing 100 in the lunar module and 200 in the command module to improve their chances of success.
 

 
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