back to article The ULTIMATE space geek accessory: Apollo 15's joystick up for sale

If you're a space geek gamer looking for the ultimate joystick, then feast your eyes on the Apollo 15 "attitude controller assembly" - the stick used by commander David R. Scott to land the Falcon lunar module on the Moon in 1971, and which goes under the hammer later this month: The Apollo 15 lunar module controller The …

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  1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    I agree

    Just think how cool that would be with an adaptor to your computer or console of choice.

    Nice carpark, btw.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: I agree

      How long would it survive Daley Thompson's Decathlon?

      1. Fading Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I agree

        Finally a replacement for my Quickshot II turbo.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: I agree

          Heh, I must still have one of those somewhere. The Kempston clone to plug it into the Speccy was a DIY job - directly interfacing to the CPU bus seems somewhat less common these days...

  2. jason 7

    NASA incoming lawsuit in 5...4...3...

    1. Ralph B

      NASA incoming lawsuit in 5...4...3...

      I think you may be right.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    I'll bet it will be quite stiff

    Still impressive to be alive at 81, give the expected life shortening effects of radiation exposure.

    1. MondoMan

      Re: I'll bet it will be quite stiff

      Hey now -- a bit o' radiation cranks up the DNA repair machinery, which fixes other errors, too, so you live longer. Hasn't The Simpsons been an especially long-lived show?

    2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I'll bet it will be quite stiff

      Often the case with joysticks.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: I'll bet it will be quite stiff

        Often the case with joysticks.

        Or Rubik's Cubes...

    3. cd

      Re: I'll bet it will be quite stiff

      Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it include

    any dust from AREA 51?

  5. Truth4u

    I hope the buyer does a tear down video.

    I don't want it but I would like to get in a bidding war with someone who does and see how many thousands of dollars I can get them to pay extra. Financial chicken is what I call it.

    1. AceRimmer

      "Financial chicken is what I call it."

      A game with only "Win/Win" and "Lose/Lose" outcomes!

    2. Truth4u

      I could understand one person accidentally hitting the thumb down button instead of thumbs up but four is a bit much, are people forgetting their glasses today?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Truth4u

        "... are people forgetting their glasses today?"

        I didn't.

        1. Truth4u

          Re: @Truth4u

          "I didn't."

          Well you're about to start wondering who keeps outbidding you on ebay, buddy.

    3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Truth4u "I hope the buyer does a tear down video."

      But will it blend?

  6. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Thumb Up

    I have to admit,

    I would love to own the joy stick both for novelty value and for its significance. Sadly I cannot afford a biding war on it. I might well put a low level bid for it just to say I did.

  7. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    To good the throw away?

    The post doesn't explain how it go onto terra firma, since the I though the LEM's were all crashed into the moon after separation?

    1. no-one in particular
      Joke

      Re: To good the throw away?

      He hung around until the film crew started to break down the set...

    2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: To good the throw away?

      Well, afaik they also had many test capsules and stuff. But that's a good question.

    3. Mike Flugennock

      Re: To good the throw away?

      It wouldn't be the first time. Jim Lovell still has the sextant from Apollo 8.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting indeed

    So, before crashing 'Falcon' into the moon after they'd returned to the CSM (name I cannot remember), they unplugged the joystick and took it with them? Did the same joystick return to the moon on later missions? Or did they just want a keepsake, and the joystick wasn't nailed down? I'm not doubting this story, just wondering operationally, was it normal practice to strip bits of the LM before dumping it?

  9. schofiel

    Eh?

    So, how come this joystick still exists?

    If this is the right stick controller from the Commander's position from the Falcon's ascent stage, then - and correct me if I'm wrong here - the AS was jettisoned in orbit around the moon prior to EOI.

    Did Scotty dismantle this prior to stage sep before de-orbiting, and then carry an extra, unplanned object of unknown mass back in the CM to Earth?

    It CAN'T be the one from the LEM, even if it is an original NASA controller.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      "how come this joystick still exists?"

      It's not implausible he whipped it out if that's the case. Seems legit to us.

      C.

      1. -tim

        Re: Eh?

        Photos of the control panels show spots for two joysticks for both the lunar lander and the control module and I expect they they only took 3 joysticks with them.

    2. AceRimmer

      Re: Eh?

      "Did Scotty dismantle this prior to stage sep before de-orbiting, and then carry an extra, unplanned object of unknown mass back in the CM to Earth?

      It CAN'T be the one from the LEM, even if it is an original NASA controller."

      And thus the greatest hoax ever carried out was slowly unraveled

      1. jai

        Re: Eh?

        *cough*CapricornOne*cough*noWindOnTheMoon*cough*noStarsInTheSky*cough*joystickWasAuctionedOff*cough*

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          *cough*how did the things we verifiably left on the moon get there then?*splutter*

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Laser_Ranging_experiment

          http://greekgeek.squidoo.com/apollo-moon-landing-photos-from-space

          If we're going for crazy conspiracy theories, I heard that Osama Bin Laden never existed, he was invented by the CIA so they could keep their budget after the cold war ended.

          That should keep the nuts busy for a while...

          1. TimNevins

            Re: Eh?

            If I throw a shoe onto the roof that does not mean I have walked on the roof.

            If I throw a shoe into a lake that does not mean I have walked on lake floor.

            How did Voyager 1 get to the edge of the galaxy unless someone put it there?

            http://www.checktheevidence.co.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=324&Itemid=63

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              If I throw a shoe onto the roof that does not mean I have walked on the roof.

              If I throw a shoe into a lake that does not mean I have walked on lake floor.

              If, however, there is a delicate and large piece of equipment, like the lunar reflectors placed by the Apollo astronauts, in situ on the lunar surface, aligned and unbroken, which has been there for 40+ years, you can be pretty sure it was placed there rather than thrown.

              How did Voyager 1 get to the edge of the galaxy unless someone put it there?

              Voyager 1 is currently 127.75 AU from the sun, which is the edge of the solar system. This is about 0.02 light years away. The edge of the galaxy is over 100,000 light years from where Voyager 1 is currently sat. There is a slight discrepancy in your question here.

    3. Steve Knox Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Eh?

      Wrong question.

      So, how come this joystick still exists?

      If your other assumptions hold, this joystick would still exist in some form in some place. I think you meant to ask:

      So how did this joystick come to be here?

      Moving on:

      Did Scotty dismantle this prior to stage sep before de-orbiting, and then carry an extra, unplanned object of unknown mass back in the CM to Earth?

      Well, it wouldn't be the first, nor the last, time. For example:

      http://www.dailytech.com/Camera+Used+by+Astronauts+on+Moon+Pulls+940+Gs+at+Auction/article34582.htm

    4. Annihilator

      Re: Eh?

      It's easily disconnected, so wouldn't surprise me that they "saved" things from the lunar module, if nothing else they could have re-used it on another mission. It may even have served a dual purpose in the command module.

      The mission profile tells us that they transferred moon samples and "other items" before ditching the LM.

  10. Suricou Raven

    So many pins.

    Why does a joystick need so many pins?

    (Conspiracy people, start speculating about the secret experiment concealed inside)

    1. spodula

      Re: So many pins.

      Triple redundancy for everything?

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: So many pins.

      Perhaps it has force feedback, for which it needs power, and control lines. Presumably, this sort of thing would be standard where G-forces in a spin would otherwise prevent the pilot from countering the spin by forcing the stick in the other direction? Also, connectors for things just used to be bigger - why do old PS2 mice need connectors with so many pins when a USB 1.0 plug has far fewer?

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: So many pins.

        I see your point but bad example: PS/2 had 4 pins: power, clock, data, ground.

        USB 1.0 also has 4, power, D+, D- and ground

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: So many pins.

        No, it doesn't have force feedback, but inside it's quite the steampunk marvel. I do think it has dual redundant sensors on each axis IIRC.

        If I could afford it, I'd bid on it in a heartbeat.

    3. Daniel B.

      Re: So many pins.

      Why does a joystick need so many pins?

      I'm guessing you've never seen the first gen joystick connectors? They had a lot of pins.

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    Ooooh

    Want

  12. MrXavia

    one question, if this was the controller on the lunar lander... how come it survived?

    1. Andrew Commons

      Because they did.

  13. Steve Knox Silver badge
    Joke

    Hmmm....

    I have been looking for a new gaming controller...

    Would make the odd Lunar Lander stint that much more immersive...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evidentally...

    Apparently Col Scott unbolted a few souvenirs from the LM before undocking. It makes one wonder how much else he unbolted from his various craft and brought back.

    I've always been sympathetic to the crew about the the 'raw deal' concerning the Apollo 15 stamp-gate controversy. This extreme case of scavenged space hardware auction reduces my sympathy by about 4%.

  15. Jay 2
    Thumb Up

    Vwoosh!

    X-15 checklist, nice! I have a bit of a soft spot for the X-15 after building a model of it as a kid. I've also seen the one hanging from the ceiling in the Smithsonian.

  16. Kevin 6

    Would be a bitchin controller to play lunar lander with

  17. stucs201

    The communications trigger switch....

    Huh? No.

    Thats the fire button.

    Doesn't matter what function it actually controls.

    That button on all joysticks always has been and always will be the fire button.

    (It should be red though)

  18. Herby Silver badge

    Now we need to build the adaptor...

    Nintendo, here we come. Plug that baby into my Wii and let 'er rip. But, please DON'T modify the original, use the connections provided.

    Might take a bit of looking inside to see how it is wired up.

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