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NASA Space Science

Apollo 13 Mission Manual Pages To Be Auctioned 96

Posted by kdawson
from the we-have-a-problem dept.
astroengine writes "On April 13 — the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 accident — Bonhams in New York City will auction off pages from the Apollo 13 mission manual, with handwritten notes by flight commander Jim Lovell. I'm thinking the chances of actually outbidding a rich space enthusiast are slim to none, but having a chance at owning a piece of spaceflight history should be popular nonetheless." Here is an item listing page at Bonhams for one of those pages, which, as Gizmodo notes, saved three astronauts' lives.
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Apollo 13 Mission Manual Pages To Be Auctioned

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  • ... just use ducktape!
    • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @10:17AM (#31760876)
      Actually - they did.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duct_tape#Usage_in_spaceflight [wikipedia.org]

      NASA engineers and astronauts have used duct tape in the course of their work, including in some emergency situations. One such usage occurred in 1970, when the square carbon dioxide filters from Apollo 13's failed command module had to be modified to fit round receptacles in the lunar module, which was being used as a lifeboat after an explosion en route to the moon. A workaround was made using duct tape and other items on board Apollo 13, with the ground crew relaying directions to the spacecraft and its crew. The lunar module CO2 scrubbers started working again, saving the lives of the three astronauts on board.

      Ed Smylie, who designed the scrubber modification in just two days, said later that he knew the problem was solvable when it was confirmed that duct tape was on the spacecraft: "I felt like we were home free", he said in 2005. "One thing a Southern boy will never say is, 'I don't think duct tape will fix it.'"[3]

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @08:23AM (#31759772)

    Whoever it is selling this deserves a lot of pity. Whether it be NASA who needs the money or an old NASA employee (maybe astronaut?) who needs the money or an old collector who needs the money or the estate of an old collector or NASA employee that needs to liquidate it, there really must be a sad story behind the selling of an item that belongs in a museum.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The museums can participate in the auction, too.

    • It would be cool if someone could scan them, and then put them online. For the collector, having the original would still be worth something.

    • "Whoever it is selling this deserves a lot of pity"

      or maybe the jig is up and he wants to unload the bundle while it's still worth something. Nyuk, nyuk (just making fun of the tin-foil crowd)

      Here's a question for all the lunar landing conspiracists (you see, those that indulge in conspiracy are really racists - "conspiRACISTs")...

      You know the original tape recording of the lunar landing, you know, the one they found in Australia? And I don't mean the 1967 "Simulation Footage", I mean the real footage that

  • Come on dude this is slashdot. If it can't be read on an iPad or Kindle, it's not worth bidding on;-)

  • Why are they selling the wrong one?
  • Even better (Score:5, Informative)

    by Amiralul (1164423) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @08:28AM (#31759802) Homepage
    Every Level 9 visitor of Johnson Space Center can hold in his hands the (original) Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Operation Plan, probably used and touched by Gene Krantz and others, while visiting the historical Apollo mission control room. It's on the left side of the room, stockpiled with other various files.
  • by vtechpilot (468543) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @08:32AM (#31759818)

    Gee if only we had a government body charged with the preservation of important historical documents. Oh wait! We do! [archives.gov] I don't understand why these items aren't going to the National Archives. Its not like they are gonna raise enough money for a rocket or anything. The Smithsonian Institution would be a better home than some private collection.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by roman_mir (125474)

      well, when it's in private collection it is still possible to negotiate with the owner to look at it when necessary, probably for a fee.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by khallow (566160)
      All that museum has to do is outbid that private collector. If they can't do that, then they must not have been a better place for those documents. I tire of these vapid arguments for the public good. If you want museums to be able to outbid collectors for stuff like this, then give the museums money for the purpose. At least now, it's likely that the documents will be preserved for the future rather than end up in a dumpster (which is what is happening too often with NASA documents at NASA's official libra
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by trurl7 (663880)

        Oh you 'tire', do you? Well thank you, King Lear, for that bit of input. When you're done playing with yourself as you think about Ayn Rand, maybe you can get back to the real world? You actually tried to apply social Darwinism to a museum...how's that "let's monetize everything, including our history" thing going for ya?

        Also: did you miss the whole "distribution of wealth" bit? Let me break it down for you: top %5 of wealth-holders possess roughly 60% of all wealth in the country. This is 2004 figures

        • by khallow (566160)
          I also tire of whiners. Seems to be a lot of them on Slashdot.

          You actually tried to apply social Darwinism to a museum...how's that "let's monetize everything, including our history" thing going for ya?

          It's called "economics" not "social Darwinism". Monetizing history is so very American and beats throwing history away (the other so very American approach). You propose to dump this document along with thousands, if not millions of similar documents on some hapless museum without corresponding funding. What do you think will happen? I think this stuff would get thrown away. Consider how that document likely found its way into private hands in th

          • by trurl7 (663880)

            Maybe, those 95% of people should work harder and smarter, if they want more of the wealth?

            Ok, now you're officially a troll.

            • by khallow (566160)

              Ok, now you're officially a troll.

              Sure, whatever. I simply don't care about the wealth disparity since I understand pretty well how that 5% got 60% of the wealth.

              • by trurl7 (663880)

                As do I. And many belong in jail for the way they did not. Not all. But many.

                • by khallow (566160)

                  As do I. And many belong in jail for the way they did not. Not all. But many.

                  And many belong in jail who haven't bothered to earn that sort of money. It's not a useful observation to make.

              • by daveime (1253762)

                Usually it's the case that Mummy and Daddy gave it to them, and the ones that didn't piss it all up the wall on coke and hookers are now the next generation of "the 5%".

                "Old money" has been around a long time, hence the name. And the only way the rest of the populace will see any of it is to either pry it out of their cold dead hands, or to sleep with one of them.

                Work harder or smarter ... yeah right.

                • by khallow (566160)

                  Usually it's the case that Mummy and Daddy gave it to them, and the ones that didn't piss it all up the wall on coke and hookers are now the next generation of "the 5%".

                  And where did Mummy and Daddy get it from? It didn't magically come to those people.

                  • by daveime (1253762)

                    And where did Mummy and Daddy get it from? It didn't magically come to those people

                    I did say it was old money, made generations back when people perhaps got away with a lot more. No it didn't "magically" come to them, but it was obtained on the backs of thousands of ignorant workers, and business practices that were questionable to say the least.

                    The Rockerfellers made their money mostly by being the first US oil monopoly and aggressively killing any competition.

                    The Astors made their money in part by fur tra

                    • A lot of monied families got where they are through scams, usually made possible through more family money or connections. One that we are still seeing the political aftershocks of is the Teapot Dome Scandal [senate.gov]. It started out as bribery [hnn.us] in the 1920's and leaves us today in the Middle East.
                    • by khallow (566160)

                      I did say it was old money, made generations back when people perhaps got away with a lot more. No it didn't "magically" come to them, but it was obtained on the backs of thousands of ignorant workers, and business practices that were questionable to say the least.

                      It was also obtained by offering something of great value. Rockefeller created the first true, modern oil infrastructure from well to gas station. Vanderbilt built railroads that greatly aided US industry. Edison developed through his R&D organization, many electrical devices used today (particularly the incandescent light bulb), modern electricity delivery infrastructure, and the very concept of a private R&D business.

                      There's a simple rebuttal to the claim that all wealth comes from old money. O

              • I simply don't care about the wealth disparity since I understand pretty well how that 5% got 60% of the wealth.

                They inherited it from their parents or grandparents who actually did all the work to earn it?

                • by khallow (566160)

                  They inherited it from their parents or grandparents who actually did all the work to earn it?

                  We have a winner. Someone earned it. That's why it's there.

        • by operagost (62405)

          Let me break it down for you: top %5 of wealth-holders possess roughly 60% of all wealth in the country.

          Let's ignore the possibility that perhaps they EARNED that money, and point out that it would be hard for poor people to hold most of the wealth, wouldn't it? Unless, of course, we had a LOT of them-- which is what some on the left really want. By the way, that top 5% also pays 61% of income tax.

          • by trurl7 (663880)

            Yes, I'm so glad all those wealth-holders are paying [go.com] their [corpwatch.org] taxes [ctj.org]!

          • However, the top 5% typically don't pay their share of FICA, which ranges from 15% for the poor down to maybe 12% for those on the edge of not paying it. (The half euphemistically called "employer contribution" is not taxed as income.) FICA is a major burden on the low income earner, and means that the millionaire has less marginal tax on earned income than the upper middle class earner.

      • by vtechpilot (468543) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @09:28AM (#31760296)

        I hope you are being ironic but I can't tell. If you're serious then it requires rebuttal. If a museum doesn't have interesting artifacts, then they don't attract visitors. If they don't attract visitors they don't have admissions income (or in the case of free museums have a hard time justifying the public funding they receive). Without income, they can't acquire interesting artifacts. It is a catch 22. If museums had to be run as a business and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, we wouldn't have any museums. All the great museums owe their existence to gift or public grant: The Louvre, The British Museum, The Smithsonian, American Museum of Natural History.

        If these items are currently NASA property then transferring an asset from one government body to another has zero cost and the museum should not have to pay to acquire them. If these are not NASA property then there are one of two possibilities. 1) They are stolen US Government property. 2) NASA was wrong to transfer them to private ownership in the first place.

        • by khallow (566160)

          If museums had to be run as a business and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, we wouldn't have any museums.

          I am being serious and this is wrong. First, there are museums being run as a business. Second, a museum doesn't have to be run as a business to succeed. You already mentioned donations to the museum.

          If these items are currently NASA property then transferring an asset from one government body to another has zero cost and the museum should not have to pay to acquire them. If these are not NASA property then there are one of two possibilities. 1) They are stolen US Government property. 2) NASA was wrong to transfer them to private ownership in the first place.

          Wrong again. Someone has to pay to transfer and store the item. As I mention elsewhere, the likely reason that this item is being auctioned in the first place, was because NASA had to choose between throwing these documents away and giving them to private ownership. They chose the latter and saved a piece of hi

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ragzouken (943900)

            You're talking as if donating to them to a museum rather than throwing them away or auctioning them would be inconceivable.

            • by khallow (566160)

              You're talking as if donating to them to a museum rather than throwing them away or auctioning them would be inconceivable.

              You don't understand the quantity of documentation that NASA is sitting on. I understand there are warehouses of the stuff. Even the more valuable stuff is crammed into a few small libraries which have to make room every so often. IMHO there's not enough museums to accept these donations or store the documentation (unless, the museum is allowed to throw away the less useful stuff). There's not enough manpower to sort through the stuff and figure out what is what. Most of it will be thrown away.

      • by Ltap (1572175)
        Yes. If it's a question of preservation, many private collectors will do an equal or better job. They have a personal vested interest in preserving it, and there's less of a chance of it being stolen (not on public display). Of course, the public won't be able to see it themselves, but all they need to do is scan it once.
        • by westlake (615356)

          They have a personal vested interest in preserving it, and there's less of a chance of it being stolen (not on public display).

          The last big-time gallery heist in the U.S. was in 1990.

          On March 18, 1990, the Gardner Museum was robbed by two unknown white males dressed in police uniforms and identifying themselves a Boston police officers. The unknown subjects gained entrance into the museum by advising on-duty security personnel that they were responding to a call of a disturbance within the compound. Securi

    • by Jawn98685 (687784) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @09:15AM (#31760166)

      I don't understand why these items aren't going to the National Archives. Its not like they are gonna raise enough money for a rocket or anything. The Smithsonian Institution would be a better home than some private collection.

      Let's see... You wan't to have the government place these items in some government run institution, so we can all "share" equal access to them? Instead of letting the free market "take care" of priceless historical artifacts?
      Sounds kind of like communism to me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eth1 (94901)

        More like they're taking something valuable and interesting, created with our tax money, and taking money to make it inaccessible to the people it actually belongs to.

      • by Tablizer (95088)

        in some government run institution, so we can all "share" equal access to them? Instead of letting the free market "take care" of priceless historical artifacts? Sounds kind of like communism to me.

        Us taxpayers paid for those things. Now you want us to pay twice?

    • Its not like they are gonna raise enough money for a rocket or anything.

      Or maybe they will raise enough money to do something like this...
      http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/03/25/1736252/Balloon-and-Duct-Tape-Deliver-Great-Space-Photos [slashdot.org]

      • Saying a balloon can make it into space makes as much sense as saying a cork will rise beyond the surface of the water.
    • It is entirely possible that these items are actually PRIVATELY owned now... For instance, the brush that was used on Apollo 14 to clean camera lenses, according to the description, was presented to Fred Haise for his help in the Apollo 14 mission. It says the other astronauts on that mission "gave" it to him. I don't know if they had the right to "give" it to him - our tax dollars paid for the brush, and more importantly, paid to fly it to the moon. But assuming that NASA allowed the astronauts to "have
  • Since the moon landing was a hoax, would these be authentic fake moon landing manual pages, or fake moon landing authentic manual pages?

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      If the moon landing was fake, so are those manual pages!
      • Well, they look real enough. Hell, did you notice? They're printed! Today, I'd bet documentation would be more along the lines of:

        Pick a Help Topic
        - What's new in Apollo 13
        - User and system guides
        - Apollo 13 basics
        - Hardware
        - Software
        - Fixing a problem
        - Protecting your shuttle
        - Send feedback to NASA

        Ask for Assistance
        - Call Houston
        - Get support or find information online

        Pick a Task
        - Use the wizard to diagnose a problem
        - Stir oxygen and hydrogen tanks
        - Shutdown the command module
        - Fly a circumlunar abort

        Di

        • by daveime (1253762)

          You forgot Clippy, how could you ?

          It looks like you're trying to fit a square cartridge into a round hole. Would you like help with that ?
           

        • by shogun (657)

          - Protecting your shuttle

          I'm not sure what that section would be doing in an Apollo 13 manual even if it was printed today...

    • by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @08:45AM (#31759928) Homepage Journal
      Fake or not, Apollo 13 didn't land on the moon. (Yes, I know, whoosh....)
      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        Oops, sorry, I'm not old enough to remember that.

        Also, OK, OK, I'm getting off your lawn.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Fake or not, Apollo 13 didn't land on the moon. (Yes, I know, whoosh....)

        In space there's no air to go 'whoosh', so this just further proves our whole space program is a sham!

  • Their so-called "auction site" is broken - I can't even see the current highest bid.
  • by Genom (3868) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @09:00AM (#31760014)

    Is it wrong that I'm a little dismayed at this? IMHO these belong in the National Archives, or at the Smithsonian's Air & Space museum, not in the hands of the highest bidder. They're a part of our space program's history, and deserve to be preserved.

    • by maxume (22995)

      Why are all you people so sure that there is a museum that even wants it?

      And I don't say that from opposition to preserving interesting history. Is NASA's disposition process really so broken that the Smithsonian isn't getting stuff they want?

    • by khallow (566160)

      Is it wrong that I'm a little dismayed at this?

      Yes, it is wrong. Where are these museums going to put this stuff? Who is going to pay for storage and maintenance? As I understand it, NASA has warehouses of this stuff. The Smithsonian (and other museums) could pick most of it up, if they wanted to. They don't because that would require spending a lot of money they don't have.

    • No, you belong in a museum, Dr. Jones.

  • In the worst case, someone buys it and keeps it in their "private" collection. In effect, no one will ever see it again. Why can't NASA give it to a museum?
    • by Comboman (895500) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @09:43AM (#31760460)

      In effect, no one will ever see it again. Why can't NASA give it to a museum?

      If you want to see it, go to the item listing page at Bonhams. [bonhams.com] You can see a high-resolution photo of both sides of the sheet. For the purposes of research or curiosity that's a much closer look than you would get if it were behind glass in a museum. Besides, even though the Air & Space museum is huge (they've got a Concorde, 727, SR-71, Space Shuttle, etc), they don't have room to preserve and display every piece of paper that an astronaut ever wrote on. This is ONE PAGE out a binder with hundreds of pages, which is one of thousands of binders NASA used in the space program. It's autographed on one side by Lovell, so I suspect this is from his personal binder and a some point he was using pages out of it for autographs instead of using photos. Just because something is collectible, doesn't mean it's historically significant.

    • by pbhj (607776)

      Why can't they just scan it, preserve any information that's vested in the documents and then sell it.

  • My piece of space (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Posting as AC, just in case....

    In 1969, NASA put the command module and some other stuff on a trailer and toured the state capitals. The capsule was not behind glass or anything. The walkway led past it, and only a railing separated the audience from the capsule. I reached over to touch the heat shield. It was surprisingly brittle, and I scratched it experimentally to see how hard it was. It wasn't, and a bunch came off under a couple of my nails. I looked around, but nobody noticed, so I went to my family'

    • Interestingly its that brittleness that makes the heat shield so critical to protect, and why even the slightest scratch in it can cause catastrophic problems for the crew aboard. I'm sure you've realized this by now though, but they most likely never used the capsule after they decided to tour it anyway, so you couldn't have caused any real problems (other than the obvious vandalism of a priceless artifact of some of the most important scientific missions). That kind of stuff makes me wish I had been bor

    • by jittles (1613415)
      And now we know what really happened to Columbia...
  • Missing front cover (used to repair air filters).

  • by Locutus (9039) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @09:25AM (#31760268)
    Nowhere do you see any "do you really want to..." switches. I mean really, who would build such a space craft and only have a switch or button which doesn't have a secondary switch or button labeled "do you really want to?"(DYRWT) to be sure the operator wants to throw that switch? Or _really_ sure for that matter. It must be fake.

    LoB
  • It's not this stuff ever made it to the moon.

  • They actually lugged paper documents to the moon? I wonder how much weight NASA has shaved off missions over the years by reducing paper and upgrading electronics.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why pay such high prices for a few pages of original manual when you can just buy one of these [haynes.co.uk] for your maintenance needs?

  • For those with less money, and in Chicago, the Adler Planetarium has a raft of events for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 13. http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/special/index.shtml#apollo [adlerplanetarium.org] And for those with a fair bit of money there is an expensive dinner with a bunch of astronauts, including the two still-living Apollo 13 astronauts. www.adlerplanetarium.org/special/doc/Apollo13invite (Yes, I know, seriously off-topic, but please don't punish!)
  • I mean, how much can that manual be worth with the cover torn off of it? ;^)

    --
    Toro

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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