It looks like a computer game joystick, but this controller dictated a lot more than the trajectory of Ms. Pacman.
The “rotational hand controller” used by the Apollo 15 crew to land the lunar module on the moon surface is being auctioned off by Boston-based RR Auction this week. But budding astronauts must act fast — bidding for this item closes at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The controller was used by David Scott when he flew to the moon in 1971, said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of the auction company.
“Not only has this controller been to space,” Livingston said in a telephone interview this afternoon. “But it is a very personal item that helped him accomplish the greatest achievement of his life.”
Scott, now in his 80s, chose to auction off this piece. He hopes it will end up in the hands of a curator or collector who will appreciate its significance, according to Livingston.
“This guy is a hero,” said Livingston. “We’re so happy that he decided to share this.”
According to Livingston, the object is very rare. Ordinarily, astronauts abandon the lunar module in space, but Scott took the controller home as a souvenir.
“Sometimes astronauts do this,” said Livingston. “They like to keep something.”
The controller is part of a bi-annual Space and Aviation online auction hosted by RR.
Among other items being auctioned off is a copy of the Declaration of Independence astronauts took to space, and one of Buzz Aldrin’s gloves.
Bidding was up to $67,292as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp