Apollo 15 Lunar Lander Joystick Goes Up For Sale

Apollo 15 Lunar Lander Joystick Goes Up For Sale

Apollo 15 joystick

The joystick used to land the Apollo 15 lunar module on the surface of the moon in 1971 will go on the auction block next week.

There was a time, way back when, when every serious gamer had a joystick. In fact, joysticks were a good measure of a gamer's mettle: Were you packing a lightweight Gravis trifle, or did you bring a full-on HOTAS rig from Thrustmaster to the table?

Whatever it was, it wasn't this: A "lunar module rotational hand controller" taken from Falcon, the Apollo 15 lunar module. This is the stick used by pilot Dave Scott to land the module on the moon and then fly it back to rendezvous with the Command Module for the return trip. According to the RR Auction entry, the controller is still in good shape and comes complete with two 15-inch umbilicals with plugs, the original Honeywell manufacturer's label and a wax tamper seal still in place on one of the front housing screws. It's also described as "especially significant" because Scott was forced to use it to manually alter the lander's flight path after tracking data indicated that it was going to come down 3000 feet south of the target.

The stick will come with a "very detailed" letter signed by Scott attesting to its authenticity and also explaining its use during the mission. "I hereby certify that the Rotational Hand Controller (RHC) included with this letter was used to maneuver the Lunar Module 'Falcon' during the Apollo 15 descent and landing on the Moon; and after three days on the surface of the Moon, this RHC was used during lunar launch, ascent and rendezvous with the Command and Service Module 'Endeavor,' in lunar orbit," the letter states. "This particular unit is identified by Serial Number 041P, Part Number DCG 163 Ell, produced under Contract Number NAS0 1100 3 50010."

It also includes a hefty price tag: Bidding starts - starts - at $10,000, and according to Polygon is expected to go as high as $300,000. The auction goes live on May 15 and runs until May 22.

Source: RR Auctions

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Hahaha! What kind of bus do those umbilicals connect to, MIDI? That would be the greatest thing, ever.

evilnancyreagan:
Hahaha! What kind of bus do those umbilicals connect to, MIDI? That would be the greatest thing, ever.

It's customized, it won't fit into anything other than the control console it was made for.

Also, I still have a Sidewinder laying around here too. Too bad there's no way of using it on post 2005 systems. :(

Chaosritter:

evilnancyreagan:
Hahaha! What kind of bus do those umbilicals connect to, MIDI? That would be the greatest thing, ever.

It's customized, it won't fit into anything other than the control console it was made for.

Also, I still have a Sidewinder laying around here too. Too bad there's no way of using it on post 2005 systems. :(

My old Logitech Wingman has a serial cable but I got a USB adapter for it. Anyways I'm sure someone is capable of rigging this thing to a PC.

Uh like even if I could customize a connector to it to make it work with a modern computer it still only has one button. No wonder they want to sell it. Kthxnogoodbye!

No Hat switch? Thumb button? Guess I could play those E.T. cartridges they just dug up. I'm just kidding. I bet we see this soon on the Big Bang Theory. Those guys would go nuts over it. And the show could afford that price tag.

I have a nice CH HOTAS setup - Combat Stick, Pro Throttle and Pedals - but it's all gameport, so not much use these days. I had a Gravis Xterminator too, which I kept around for awhile and used with a USB adapter, but it was never 100 percent so I think I ended up tossing it. I really should pick up a new stick, but finding something half-decent is so tough these days. Everything is so expensive - not THIS expensive, but still awfully pricey for something I really don't need.

I'm kind of surprised that this didn't stay with the LEM? They unbolted it and stowed it aboard the Command module before undocking?

faefrost:
I'm kind of surprised that this didn't stay with the LEM? They unbolted it and stowed it aboard the Command module before undocking?

I'm too lazy to google the proper answer, but if I had to guess it was either kept as a spare in case something went wrong with the module's stick (I suspect they made plans for that sort of thing after Apollo 13) or that the guy kept it as a souvenir. I know I would have kept it if given the chance.

OT: I would buy that if I had the money. I'm a big believer of space travel. While I would probably toy with the idea of making an adapter and a driver so I could use it on a computer (maybe with a lunar lander game), I wouldn't want to wear it out by playing with it. It'd just be nice to have a little piece of space since I'll probably never get to go.

But the real question is...

What games can I use it to play?

... I didn't even read the article... was that joke in there?

That looks like a sex toy...

I'll have 12.

Draconalis:
But the real question is...

What games can I use it to play?

... I didn't even read the article... was that joke in there?

Joystick, to me, implies Atari games. As my 2600 still works, this would actually be relevent to my interests.

 

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