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Apollo 15 Lunar Lander Joystick Goes Up For Sale

| 6 May 2014 18:05
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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