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

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 logo Mitchell - pilot of the lunar module Antares and the the sixth man to walk on the Moon's surface - pitched the camera for sale …

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Alien

Pinhead?

Looking at that picture, has he encountered a strange alien race of head shrinkers?

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re: pinhead?

thefutureboy sez on 07.01.11 @08:57gmt:

"Looking at that picture, has he encountered a strange alien race of head shrinkers?"

Actually, no; he's encountered the International Latex Corp's. A7L PGA (Pressure Garment Assembly) designed for the Apollo crews. A rather bulky piece of gear, it had a way of making even the slightest-built astronauts look huge, invincible and godlike -- even a short, wiry little dude like Pete Conrad.

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/a7l.htm

http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/0/10075836.jpg

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Alien

One Careful Driver

I expect he also has a Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle for sale on eBay ... marked: "Buyer collects".

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Meh

LRV?

Unlikely, there was no LRV on Apollo 11.

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FAIL

Apollo 11?

Try reading the article before commenting... it was Apollo 14 not 11. However 14 didn't have a Lunar Rover, it was Apollo 15 that had the first Rover.

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Alien

Geek

Someone has taken the KSC tour a little too seriously. :P

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Boffin

LRV for sale...?

Nope, sorry; Apollo 14 carried only what could be described as a Lunar Golf Cart, a wheeled equipment rack used to carry sampling tools, drills, and Al Shepard's nine-iron.

Apollo 15 was the first mission to take the famous two-man "buggy" along. The LRV that went on Apollo 17 sustained some rear fender damage requiring improvised body work on-site, so I suspect it'd go for a bit less than "book value" on eBay. Still one owner, low mileage, though... and, yeah, it'd definitely be a "buyer pick-up" deal.

LRV development history: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/apololrv.htm

Apollo 17 LRV, fresh from Gene'n'Schmitty's Body Shop: http://tinyurl.com/3ndsxwe

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Alert

NASA has always been careless with its cameras

Rumour has it that someone accidentally released one of the modified Hasselblads while space walking a few decades ago, and it's still up there. Now that would sting if it caught you in the soft bits at 4 miles per second.

They also commissioned a space Leica but AFAIK that one never made it off Earth; they probably auctioned it to pay for a new Shuttle.

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Anonymous Coward

Let him have it.

He risked his life in the name of science. Give all the Apollo astronauts an extra million bucks for their efforts. The pay really sucked back then.

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Gav
Angel

Buy It

Mitchell wants $80k. NASA wants the camera. There is an obvious solution.

Any other solution probably involves lawyers pocketing $80k in fees. In the grand sum of things I reckon Mitchell is the more deserving.

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Thumb Up

Absofrickinlutely!

As I recall, Alan Bean (Apollo 12) got to keep the treaded overshoes he wore on the Moon. He brushed off all the dust that was caked on them and saved it all in a few small vials. He apparently still has some left; he mixes it in with the paint he uses in his paintings, and also uses the treads on his old lunar overshoes to texture the prepared surface of his canvases prior to painting on them.

http://www.alanbean.com/images/alan_bean_surrounded_by_paintings.jpg

http://www.charlieduke.net/images/smalltown.jpg

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Paris Hilton

what next

NASA astonauts claiming Alien coverups?

Professional Geologists claiming creationist theory?

my world is falling apart!

am i still me?

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Alert

am i still me?

No. You are my 63rd clone.

Behave!

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Anonymous Coward

am i still me?

Your names wouldn't be Allitnil by any chance?

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Shurely you mean...

...professional creationists claiming to be geologists?

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Pint

re: what next?

mark 63 sez on 07.01.11 @09:13gmt:

"Professional Geologists claiming creationist theory?"

Sad to report that Apollo 17 LMP Harrison Schmitt -- a geologist who trained all the other Apollo crewmen in geological fieldwork -- is now a climate-change denialist. The guy's still a hero in my book, but, jeezus... c'mon, Schmitty, get a grip, man:

http://tinyurl.com/46hed3f

.

In addition to Ed Mitchell becoming a UFOlogist and psychic-phenomena nut, there are two other Apollo astronauts -- Jim Irwin and Charlie Duke -- who ended up becoming full-on born-again Christian nutcakes. And Buzz Aldrin, of course, I need not discuss any further.

On the upside, Alan Bean's profound changes from his lunar experience resulted in him becoming one of America's greatest painters. Bean had always enjoyed painting in his off-time even back in his test-pilot days, but his visit to the Moon really stirred up something inside him enough to cause him to get really serious about his art full-time after he retired from the astronaut corps. Google "Alan Bean paintings" and check his work out. It's all space-related, but there's nothing cheesy or gimmicky about it; Bean really has an excellent eye, and his work really is full of heart and soul.

Say what you want about Neil Armstrong being taciturn and reclusive; at least he's one of the few Apollo crewmen who walked on the Moon and didn't end up becoming total cranks after they came home.

(pint of ale for Alan Bean, first Impressionist on the Moon.)

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@Mike Flugennock

"Sad to report that Apollo 17 LMP Harrison Schmitt -- a geologist who trained all the other Apollo crewmen in geological fieldwork -- is now a climate-change denialist"

It's also sad that the The Register employs as a reporter one Lewis Page, also a climate-change denialist -- especially sad given that his bailiwick is Science.

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Anonymous Coward

@cloudberry

"It's also sad that the The Register employs as a reporter one Lewis Page, also a climate-change denialist -- especially sad given that his bailiwick is Science."

I know it must be quite difficult for the MMGW fanatics to ram their dogma down everyone’s throats while people are awkwardly pointing to evidence that contradicts their faith.

Burn all the heretics, or at least silence all differing opinions, right?

And you have the unmitigated gall to use the word science.

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Megaphone

Sad?

Sad that someone you admire doesn't follow your particular religion?

Perhaps you could try being less dogmatic and take a look at his point of view for a change, mkay?

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Facepalm

@Norfolk 'n' Goode

It's odd how different people can use the same words to mean different things.

For you, a person is apparently a "fanatic" for pointing out that climate change is an established scientific fact, as confirmed by tens of thousands of working scientists, and as summarized in several reports of the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC.

Fanaticism is, according to the dictionary definition, behaviour marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. One of Churchill's pithy statements was that "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject". I think both are good definitions.

People such as myself who do have trust in the efficacy of the scientific method, as proven over the centuries, and in the consensus opinion of the vast majority of the world's climate scientists, are able to change the subject. Those involved in the actual research are naturally vocal about their field of study, and since they can see the danger the Earth's biosphere is in, are quite "enthusiastic" in beating the drum about the dangers. Perhaps to you that is "fanaticism", but I invite you to consider the possibility that they are acting in good faith, and are vocal for a good reason. I'm not trying to change your opinion here, but if, for the sake of argument, you concede that these scientists actually do believe that the Earth is in danger, would you not say that being enthusiastically (or perhaps a better word would be "urgently") vocal about the causes of the danger is not excessive?

You also use the word "dogma", which means (again according to Merriam-Webster) "1 a : something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet ... 2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church". Now, I'm guessing that you mean "dogma" in sense 2, as a religious truth handed on from high, and that you think anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is some sort of a new religion invented by scientists for who-knows-what reason. (Yes, I know, one of the standard propaganda points perpetuated by the deniers is that all these scientists are on some sort of a mutually supported gravy train scam, which just goes to show how little they know of the mechanisms of doing science.)

Even though in principle, every scientific result is provisional, there are some scientific facts that are so well established that one might say they do fit under definition 1a: for instance, no serious scientist really doubts the existence of atoms, of the different elements, of magnetism, of electricity, of gravity, nor of some more complex scientific theories (careful now: the scientific use of the word "theory" is different from the everyday one) such as the theory of evolution, because the evidence in favour, and the explanatory power, of such theories is so overwhelming. So, perhaps some such knowledge could indeed be said to be "held as an established opinion".

But let's assume you mean definition 2 instead of definition 1a. Now here is someone who calls the consensus opinion of tens of thousands of actual experts in the field, and the actual data of a world whose average temperature has been warming even faster than the worst-case predictions, "dogma", and presumably thinks the opposite of that is the truth. And based on what expertise, I wonder?

Again, I'm not trying to change your mind, but trying to make you see why those who do have trust in the scientific method and its results have exactly the opposite opinion: that you and the other climate change deniers are the ones who, ironically, believe in an unfounded dogma.

If you really are interested in the reason that experts in the field hold the opinions they do, you could start educating yourself. There are numerous books and online articles available in the field. For a start, you could go to this collection of links: http://www.grist.org/article/series/skeptics, which is a series of articles called "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: Responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming".

But I'm guessing that you're not even interested in looking at that, because you really, really do not want any facts to intrude upon what you really, really want to believe, namely, that there is no AGW.

It is only human to want to deny threatening things. You know the classic stages of dealing with grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Deniers are stuck in the first two steps. It does not help, of course, that there are powerful economic interests, such as oil companies, that correctly see the steps necessary to mitigate the effects of AGW as potentially harmful to their profits, and have thus started propaganda operations that have seeded the public conversation with the sorts of tropes that are then enthustiastically parroted by the deniers. (See, for instance, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jan/27/environment.science and http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/sep/20/oilandpetrol.business.)

It is interesting to note that most people do not, in fact, believe certain things because they have been presented with evidence and arguments for different viewpoints, have weighed these, and then made a considered judgment among them; and if new evidence is presented, are prepared to consider that, too, and might even change their beliefs as a result. That is not how human nature works, but that is approximately the way the scientific method works. Since scientists are only humans, how can the scientific method work? It works because scientists are each others' worst (or best) critics, and subject all new hypotheses to harsh criticism. (A "hypothesis" is the scientific term for what laymen call a "theory".) All new scientific information goes through the mill of peer-review, and for a hypothesis or theory to be generally accepted, it must hold up very well indeed with all the available data and with the existing body of science.

But most people form their opinions of complex phenomena based on guesses, wishes, hunches, or on what people they trust for one reason or another tell them, and then have a hard time changing their opinions. (Just following ordinary conversations on various subjects is enough to show that there are plenty of people for whom almost complete ignorance of a subject is no hindrance to holding forth at length on it.) The human mind did not evolve to follow the scientific method, but to survive through instinct and hunch in the pre-technological nature. (See article http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5491, "People Believe What They Want".) I suppose that is why so many people, such as yourself, have such an aversion to accepting knowledge gained through the scientific method, especially if such knowledge feels threatening: the brain sometimes rejects threatening information until forced to deal with it. And in the case of AGW, humankind simply cannot wait until every last living person has been forced to see the consequences for himself before starting to mitigate them.

As for "burning the heretics" and "silencing different opinions": oh please. Where, I ask you, has anyone wanted to burn anyone else, or to silence anyone? Criticism, even strong criticism, is not "silencing". Climate change deniers have had the opportunity to give their point of view out of all proportion to the weight of their arguments, partly because most journalists are not scientists, and cannot judge the weight of scientific evidence. This is of course a phenomenon used to advantage by the denialist lobby; if they can keep the "controversy" alive through astroturf organizations, a couple of bought "scientists" and various fools, they can keep up the impression that the facts of the matter are still unsettled.

You say: "And you have the unmitigated gall to use the word science." Oddly enough, that also suits very well as my answer to you.

Oh well, you probably haven't even made it this far. I just thought I'd try.

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Oh please!

"For you, a person is apparently a "fanatic" for pointing out that climate change is an established scientific fact, as confirmed by tens of thousands of working scientists, and as summarized in several reports of the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC."

This does not make it a "scientific fact" - its STILL only a theory, just like Newton's Laws of motion are theories and Einstein's General and Special Relativity are theories and NOT "facts". They may fit the observable phenomena but this still doesn't make them facts. Science doesn't produce facts - it uses facts to produce a theory that explains them, its called the Scientific Method.

The climate models used to produce these Climate change CLAIMS do not produce FACTS they produce predictions that don't even fit the observed facts so far, even when those facts have been cherry picked to fit the predictions!

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Interesting

If NASA didn't give him the camera, how did he end up with it?

Slip it into his briefcase one day? accidentally picked it up while clearing his desk when he retired....

And he if took it without permission, they'd just have to threaten him with the cops - though the publicity of a space hero being taken down the station would be counter productive.

Going to be one of those grey areas (though not the alien grey).

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Unhappy

Hard to prove

NASA management probably did give him the camera. 40 years ago things were done on trust, not everything was written down. These days you'd have to sign a release form and probably get the company lawyer involved to hand items over to staff. Unless someone from NASA who was in the room at the time heard a manager say "You can keep the camera" then Edgar will have trouble proving his claim. I guess a lot of people who might have been around at the time have popped their clogs over the last 40 years.

I'm surprised that Uncle Sam would want to proceed with something that could dirty the name of one of their national heroes. It's not in their interest to do so, unless they want to muddy his name for another reason. Something to do with those alleged alien visits maybe.

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FAIL

Don't believe him?

"But we do not share his opinions". How very mainstream media knee bowing of you, laquee.

But seriously, Who. The. F%%k. Else. can you believe other than the guy who actually went there and saw it with his own eyes. You think they choose crazy people to go in space? They're all highly trained scientist of one discipline or another who are also highly stable mentally under pressure.

If the guy that went in space says he saw spaceships, then by God I will believe him over corporate drone sitting at their desks eating their donuts.

One day History will marvel at how long we had our head in the sand with so much daring our senses!

LOL!

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re:Don't believe him?

Actually back in those days almost all NASA astronauts were test pilots first and scientists secondly. Schmitt on Apollo 17 was the first and only 'true' scientist to fly to the moon.

To be fair though, Mitchell is not the only astronaut to have said this kind of thing. Gordon Cooper ("Who's the best damn pilot y'all ever did see?") was quite vocal in his later years about seeing alien spacecraft being tested by the military in Germany.

As to "You think they choose crazy people to go in space?" all I can say is look up Lisa Nowak.

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He went to the moon.

That doesn't make him an authority on ETs.

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Coat

Heh?

Nasa are claiming that everything used during the space mission belongs to them. Really? What about Dr Mitchells body he must have used parts of it during the mission. Say he cut his foot off. It's been to the moon does it actually now belong to Nasa?

Is that the origin of the phrase 'We own your ass'?

What are Nasa going to use an old obsolete movie camera for anyway? I say let Dr Mitchell keep it, it's like a bit of his pension FFS.

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Coat

Conspiracy theories

Maybe it's not the camera they want, but the film inside it...??

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Strange responses

Lots of people saying "he risked his life. Nasa should let him keep it". That seems like a bizare reposnse. It looks like NASA were perfectly happy for him to keep it. He had it for 40 years. It is his attempts to sell it to the highest bidder that have raised a few eyebrows! If his space memorobilia is of such personal importance to him, great. The guy is a feckin' hero after all. But selling a piece of national and personal history with no regard to who's hands it might end up in.....

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FAIL

Title

It's going to be a terrible NASA PR own-goal if they pursue Mitchell for a 40 year old camera...

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Pint

Something doesn't add up

How can a Hasselblad sell for $80,000? Is it broken?

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