July 20, 1969 [Moon Landing paperweight]
black etched glass, illustrated on one side only. This is oval shaped, approximately 3.5 inches at maximum width and 4.5 at maximum height. It is believed to be black etched glass with the figure of an Astronaut in a space suit facing left with an American flag visible on his sleeve. The date July 20, 1969 is under the figure and above a curved cratered graphic depicting the surface of the moon. Item weighs about 1 lb. Similar, but not identical items, seen on the internet. A paperweight is a small solid object heavy enough, when placed on top of papers, to keep them from blowing away in a breeze or from moving under the strokes of a painting brush (as with Japanese calligraphy). While any object (like a stone) can serve as a paperweight, decorative paperweights of glass are produced, either by individual artisans or factories, usually in limited editions, and are collected as works of fine glass art, some of which are exhibited in museums. First produced in about 1845, particularly in France, such decorative paperweights were undergoing a revival in the mid-twentieth century. Glass etching, or "French embossing", is a popular technique developed during the mid-1800s that is still widely used in both residential and commercial spaces today. Glass etching comprises the techniques of creating art on the surface of glass by applying acidic, caustic, or abrasive substances. Traditionally this is done after the glass is blown or cast, although mold-etching has replaced some forms of surface etching. The removal of minute amounts of glass causes the characteristic rough surface and translucent quality of frosted glass. The United States' Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on 20 July 1969. There were six crewed U.S. landings between 1969 and 1972, and numerous uncrewed landings, with no soft landings happening between 22 August 1976 and 14 December 2013. The United States is the only country to have successfully conducted crewed missions to the Moon, with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972. Apollo 11 (July 16–24, 1969) was the American spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC, and Armstrong became the first person to step onto the Moon's surface six hours and 39 minutes later, on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later, and they spent about two and a quarter hours together exploring the site they had named Tranquility Base upon landing. Armstrong and Aldrin collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth as pilot Michael Collins flew the Command Module Columbia in lunar orbit, and were on the Moon's surface for 21 hours, 36 minutes before lifting off to rejoin Columbia. Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16 at 13:32 UTC, and it was the fifth crewed mission of NASA's Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft had three parts: a command module (CM) with a cabin for the three astronauts, the only part that returned to Earth; a service module (SM), which supported the command module with propulsion, electrical power, oxygen, and water; and a lunar module (LM) that had two stages—a descent stage for landing on the Moon and an ascent stage to place the astronauts back into lunar orbit. After being sent to the Moon by the Saturn V's third stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and traveled for three days until they entered lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved into Eagle and landed in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20. The astronauts used Eagle's ascent stage to lift off from the lunar surface and rejoin Collins in the command module. They jettisoned Eagle before they performed the maneuvers that propelled Columbia out of the last of its 30 lunar orbits onto a trajectory back to Earth. They returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24 after more than eight days in space. Armstrong's first step onto the lunar surface was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience. He described the event as "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Apollo 11 effectively proved US victory in the Space Race to demonstrate spaceflight superiority, by fulfilling a national goal proposed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." Condition: Very good.
Keywords: Black Glass, Etched Glass, Paperweight, July 20, 1969, Lunar Landing, Apollo 11, Astronaut, Spacesuit, NASA, Commemorative, Collectible