Reno, Nevada: Jack Bacon & Company, 2009. First edition, limited and numbered. Leather_bound. This is a signed and numbered limited edition collection of more than 50 photographs from the historic Apollo 11 mission, each captioned by Buzz Aldrin with a foreword by former NASA Flight Director Eugene F. Kranz. The title "Magnificent Desolation" is taken from the phrase Aldrin used to describe his first impression of the lunar surface, upon which he was the second human to set foot in 1969. The volume is strikingly bound in handmade silver lambskin leather over black corduroy cloth. This volume was privately printed and is different from Aldrin's similarly titled autobiography. This copy is hand-numbered “46” on the limitation page, one of 500 copies published. Aldrin’s signature “Buzz Aldrin” is inked boldly in blue above his printed name on the recto of the leaf following the limitation page. All pages except the limitation, signature, and half-title (in white) are black with white print text facing the photographs. Condition of this copy is as-new, with no wear, flaws, or markings.
Buzz Aldrin (b. 1930 as Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.) was the second of only twelve humans to set foot on the moon. Aldrin was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in 1963. A graduate of West Point, before joining NASA, Aldrin had flown 66 combat missions in Korea and received a doctorate of science from MIT. He was already accomplished in space by the time of the Apollo mission, having spent four days in space in the Gemini 12 spacecraft, during which he established a new record for extravehicular activity (EVA), having spent 5.5 hours outside the spacecraft. But it was the Apollo 11 mission of 1969 that imparted lasting fame. Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong onto the lunar surface on 20 July 1969. Aldrin spent more than two hours on the surface of the moon. When Aldrin resigned from NASA in 1971, he had logged 289 hours and 53 minutes in space, of which 7 hours and 52 minutes were spent in EVA. Since retirement, Aldrin has remained an ardent advocate for manned space exploration and America’s future in space.
This signed and limited copy is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Typically, a "certificate of authenticity" is a ludicrous product of a cottage industry rife with fraud and false assurance and not worth the paper upon which it is printed. In this case, the certificate of authenticity is attested and signed by one of our known and trusted colleagues, and hence an exception to the rule. Item #005128