Feeds

Apollo 14 'naut attempts to flog Moon camera for $80k

Oi, that's ours, protests NASA

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell is locked in a legal battle with the US government over just who owns a movie camera which flew with him to the Moon in 1971.

Edgar Mitchell with the Apollo 14 logoMitchell - pilot of the lunar module Antares and the the sixth man to walk on the Moon's surface - pitched the camera for sale earlier this year as part of a Bonhams "Space History Sale".

According to Reuters, NASA spotted the "Movie Camera from the Lunar Surface" before it could go under the hammer in May for an estimated $60,000 to $80,000. Once Bonhams discovered there was some doubt over who the device actually belonged to, the auction house removed it from the sale "pending further discussion between NASA and the consignor".

On Wednesday, the government filed suit in Miami federal court, demanding the camera be returned to what it considers its rightful owner. The suit states: "All equipment and property used during NASA operations remains the property of NASA unless explicitly released or transferred to another party."

While NASA claims it has no record of the camera being gifted to Mitchell, the former 'naut's lawyer, Donald Jacobson, say the agency's management back in 1971 "was aware of and approved Mitchell's ownership".

He said: "Objects from the lunar trips to the moon were ultimately mounted and then presented to the astronauts as a gift after they had helped NASA on a mission."

The government is asking the court to order Mitchell to hand over the camera, and declare it has "good, clean and exclusive title" to the piece of space history. ®

Bootnote

Mitchell pops up in the press from time to time with his entertaining assertions that the US government has covered up alien visits to Earth. Back in 2008, NASA countered these claims in a statement which declared: "NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe. Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue."

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.