Feeds

NASA halts 'naut flogging Apollo 13 notebook

Jim Lovell put emergency checklist up for auction

High performance access to file storage

NASA has sparred with one of its most famous astronauts over the sale of a checklist of life-saving calculations.

Jim Lovell, commander of the Apollo 13 mission, led the ruptured space vessel to a safe return landing on Earth in 1970 - but now the 83-year-old has right royally angered his old bosses by auctioning off the notebook that he used to calculate the daring emergency landing.

Lovell had been in the process of selling off the 70-page checklist notebook at an auction – after finding a buyer prepared to stump up $388,000 – before NASA stepped in and halted the sale, disputing Lovell's ownership of the book. The checklist is particularly valuable because it contains the jotted calculations that the 'naut used to work out the circumlunar "free return" trajectory the craft needed to make the safe splashdown into the Pacific Ocean.

NASA met Lovell and other former astronauts yesterday in an attempt to calm the situation down and resolve the ongoing issue of who owns space mementos. Calling the 'nauts "American heroes", NASA chief Charles Bolden said in a statement that the agency and the spacemen would work together to "address outstanding ownership questions".

"I believe there have been fundamental misunderstandings and unclear policies regarding items from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs," he said. Bolden stressed that NASA's aim was to preserve important artefacts so that they could be available for display to the American people.

NASA have a piecemeal record on keeping track of space relics, recently admitting it had lost track of hundreds of moon rocks and lunar samples. NASA's meeting with the former astronauts marks a softer approach to the issue of space memorabilia: the boffinry agency previously sued an Apollo 14 astronaut who tried to sell off a video camera he'd taken on the mission. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.