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NASA Moon

Junkyard Owner Saves Lunar Rover Prototype (vice.com) 130

An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, Slashdot users learned that a man in Alabama sold a lunar rover prototype for scrap metal. We now learn that the junkyard owner has saved this important piece of scientific history. The man claims that, upon receiving the prototype at his scrap facility, he set it aside because he knew exactly what it was.
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Junkyard Owner Saves Lunar Rover Prototype

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2015 @08:30PM (#50829615)

    Where Rick offered 500 bucks for it, Big Hoss asked whether the moon landing was faked, the old man mentioned the Navy and Chum sat on it.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      Where Rick offered 500 bucks for it, Big Hoss asked whether the moon landing was faked, the old man mentioned the Navy and Chum sat on it.

      At least Big Hoss didn't try to buy it with his own money then take it to Danny to get it tricked out. Because you know Chum would want to put hydraulics on that thing.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I see those are words but they don't make a whole lot of sense to me. Comedy show on television? Another cult classic that I've somehow missed? Bad re-write of some Japanese animation that takes place in Las Vegas? :/

        Too many results for Rick in Google to narrow this down. /. does confuse me once in a while but this post is strange enough to remark on. That there are two of you indicates that there's something that I am missing. Google is not helpful.

        • US reality TV show called Pawn Stars focusing on the stuff people come in to sell to the pawn store.
          The main joke deal with all the people that bring stuff in that is worth $1000 and they want the full $1000. Ignoring that the store has to make a profit.
          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Thanks. I have yet to come across that one. I don't watch much television - I've just got better stuff to watch than what I found on television. Well, better stuff for my wants/needs. A quick Google says it's a reality TV show type of thing so it's unlikely that I'd have seen it. I did see another one, at a friends, and it wasn't very interesting. Ah well...

  • If you save mountains of crap you will find 0.12% of it useful. Someday...
  • Seriously, this news made my day much nicer.

  • ... Fred Sanford.

  • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @09:15PM (#50829773)

    According to the article NASA knew exactly where it was, that it was not destroyed and had even come to inspect it.

    "NASA knew it was still available. In my mind, they tried to play a trickery game. They wanted me to loan it to them, but I think they just wanted to get it into their possession. They offered me [perks], they offered me everything but cash," the junkyard owner said. "NASA told me when they came out to inspect it that they had looked for it for 25 years. It is the von Braun, the first and last they made. I was told it is the rarest of all the units."

    So what's the deal?

    • by erice ( 13380 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @09:39PM (#50829911) Homepage

      According to the article NASA knew exactly where it was, that it was not destroyed and had even come to inspect it.

      "NASA knew it was still available. In my mind, they tried to play a trickery game. They wanted me to loan it to them, but I think they just wanted to get it into their possession. They offered me [perks], they offered me everything but cash," the junkyard owner said. "NASA told me when they came out to inspect it that they had looked for it for 25 years. It is the von Braun, the first and last they made. I was told it is the rarest of all the units."

      So what's the deal?

      I imagine it went something like this:

      NASA Rep: That's GREAT! You've done your country a great service by preserving this priceless artifact. When shall we pick it up?
      Junk Yard Owner: Now hold on a minute! This ain't free. I want to be paid.
      NASA Rep: OK. How much do you want?
      Junk Yard Owner: $BIGNUM
      NASA Rep: This is a side project. We don't have that kind of budget.
      Junk Yard Owner: This is a limited time offer! If you don't pay $BIGNUM by X, I will melt it down! Then what will your superiors say?
      NASA Rep: My superiors barely approve of me spending time on this. I think it is important but there is no way I can get the money you ask.
      Junk Yard Owner: I'm serious! I'll melt it down!
      NASA Rep: Well, then I guess we're done here.

      [Time X + Delta]
      NASA PR: A priceless artifact of the Apollo program has been melted down.

      [Time X + Delta + Y]
      Junk Yard Owner: I did not melt it down. NASA just has to pay me.

      • Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @10:04PM (#50830005)

        More like:

        Junk Yard: You can have it for $FAIRLY_LARGE_SUM, or I'll sell it to the highest bidder. But out of deference, I'm willing to give you first access without bidding.

        NASA: Give it to us for free, or we will use legal acton (which is why junkyard owner brought in lawyers and kept silent).

        NASA probably lied to try and cast doubt on the authenticity of what he had to reduce the selling price so they could get it cheaper. Far more believable than your absurd fantasy of the junk yard owner threatening to melt down a priceless artifact.

        • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

          You discount the possibility that the junk yard owner actually could make a great PR event of it, good reputation is often way better in the long run than just the money involved.

        • The truth is probably more to do with the Senate Oversight Committee debating the existence of the Junkyard
    • "They offered me [perks], they offered me everything but cash," the junkyard owner said

      So what's the deal?

      If the prototype was taken from NASA without permission, technically it's stolen government property. And they can just take it back without paying the guy anything. Furthermore, I think knowingly taking receipt of stolen government property and attempting to sell it back to the government is a crime. If the guy tries to be difficult, they'll probably play that card. NASA's initial feelers are p

      • by Barny ( 103770 )

        RTFA, it was purchased at auction from NASA, then rotted in someone's yard, then they tried to scrap it to get some cash. Scrap-yard owner decided it was worth saving and has done.

        • That fact is inconvenient and will likely be denied.

      • "If the prototype was taken from NASA without permission, technically it's stolen government property. They can just take it back without paying the guy anything."

        More precisely, the government can claim that a given artifact was stolen and just grab it even if it has no proof. If you have a sufficiently large amount of money and a period of years to devote to the effort, you can make them give it back eventually.

        To see what I mean, look up 'Langbord Coins".

    • by marciot ( 598356 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @12:26AM (#50830439)

      They offered me [perks], they offered me everything but cash

      The deal is that thanks to Congress NASA has no budget. They are scrambling to put together a bake sale to raise money for buying the rover, but it's hard to get aerospace engineers to bake anything that someone else would want to buy and eat.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by 91degrees ( 207121 )
        True. When you bake everything at 1400K, your ceramics come out nicely but cakes tend to get a little burnt.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      The deal is that when it comes to Government it's a Budget concern. They need to follow The Budget at any price, no matter what, and if they need to buy it back with money then they need to have An Account.

      A lot of other action can be absorbed into the daily work, but as soon as you purchase something it must be on The Budget and there nut be An Account for said purchase.

  • Did he kept The Vulture from being scrapped?!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvage_1 [wikipedia.org]

  • ...but I don't believe it.

  • Look at the canopy arch. the one in the photo is very different from the one in the junkyard.
  • by Terje Mathisen ( 128806 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @03:46AM (#50830805)

    Last night I bought a Baen EBook: Terry Bisson - Numbers Don't Lie. [baenebooks.com]

    The book consists of three stories, one of them is about a "Hole in the Hole", a Brooklyn junkyard which uses a spacetime rift connecting the junkyard to the Moon in order to get rid of old tires. Our protagonists tries to use said rift to retrieve one of the three Apollo Moon buggies that were left behind.

    Terje

  • Because this JUNKYARD owner doesn't have a REALITY TV SHOW -- and everyone knows that all Junkyard Owners have reality TV shows!

  • So does he give it back to NASA as a gift and gain the good will of the world, or does he try and squeeze them for as much money as humanly possible? I know which I hope for and I am nearly positive that it won't be the one he chooses.

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