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  NASA inquiry halts sale of astronauts' artifacts (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   NASA inquiry halts sale of astronauts' artifacts
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-03-2012 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
NASA inquiry halts sale of $388,375 Apollo 13 flown checklist, other astronaut artifacts

"Heritage, we may have a problem."

That's more or less what NASA told Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas recently, in response to their record-setting, $388,375 sale of astronaut James Lovell's Apollo 13 flown checklist...

"NASA made a claim against a small number of items consigned by the astronauts including Mr. Lovell," Rohan said. "The sale of those items [like Lovell's checklist] has been suspended as Heritage awaits the outcome of the dispute between NASA and the astronauts."

According to Heritage, among the other items now on hold are a lunar module identification plate and a command module rotational hand controller from Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-03-2012 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: I've spent a considerable amount of time researching this article and I think it merits stressing two points:
  • At this time, NASA's General Counsel has only requested further information about the provenance for the four artifacts.

  • The NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has been informed of the inquiry but otherwise has not been involved. If an investigation is later deemed necessary — and at this point, there is no one saying one will be — then the OIG, as NASA's investigative arm, will take lead.
At this point, the only thing NASA has done is ask questions. It is however, Heritage Auctions' standard operating procedure to halt the transfer of the items it auctions when questions about title are raised.

LM-12
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posted 01-03-2012 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think that NASA is scoring any points in these ongoing disputes with the former Apollo astronauts. I think it is becoming a public relations nightmare that only makes NASA look bad.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-03-2012 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think there are leaders within NASA that recognize that, which is why this inquiry may play out differently from earlier cases.

It's still very early in this situation; had it not been for Heritage updating its website to mark the checklist as "not sold," the public may have never been aware of NASA actions.

I debated writing up this up as an article, but ultimately I decided it was better to get the facts documented and its possible other media outlets are aware of and working on similar stories as well.

SpaceAholic
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posted 01-03-2012 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The timing of IG interest is curious (injecting itself into the issue after the auction took place). Aside from the possibility that the winning bidder him/herself initiated a query to affirm that title would not be an issue prior to executing the transaction, the realized price would seem to be the only other flag that could have attracted attention. Hopefully the latter is not NASA's principle criteria for engagement.

Whatever the outcome, the standard used for determination of title needs to be publicized and uniformly applied in subsequent scenarios.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-03-2012 06:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's General Counsel is not authorized to conduct investigations. The only way it comes across cases like this is if they are reported to them directly or, like anyone else, they see it in the news. For better or for worse, the checklist's sale price made for worldwide headlines.

(And while a minor point, it's GC rather than IG; the IG is not involved at this time.)

space1
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posted 01-03-2012 08:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is really getting to be ridiculous. NASA, you released all three control handles to the crew by ASHUR for each Apollo flight. Remember? (HINT: For Apollo 9, it was ASHUR 104500 R1.)

------------------
John Fongheiser
Historic Space Systems

mjanovec
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posted 01-04-2012 12:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If NASA is now questioning astronauts about the provenance and ownership of the items they are selling, how much scrutiny will be paid towards what private collectors already have in their collections... including those purchased from former astronauts in previous auctions?

For the near future, at least, I imagine some collectors are going to be very cautious about advertising (or selling) what they already own. I can't help but notice that at least one prominent collector has recently removed his collection from his website.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From earlier discussions with auction houses (unrelated to any of these recent investigations), it would seem these type of questions from NASA are not new. I can remember one gallery fielding similar ownership questions dating back to 1999.

The difference here is that it involves a very high profile artifact and comes just after the government wrapped a very public legal proceeding pursuing the return of a specific artifact.

Again, it's early and I think its worth remembering that out of a 200-lot auction, only four pieces were questioned. That still leaves many desirable items to collect.

mjanovec
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posted 01-04-2012 12:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The problem is that with ever-increasing high profile (and high price) items being sold at auction, the more attention it gathers from the powers that be. Flown checklists generally haven't gotten this type of attention in the past, so it's interesting to see attention being paid to them now. Nor is this the first time that ID plates and rotational hand controllers have been sold at auction.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, as this could have huge ramifications for collectors of premium flown items.

spaced out
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posted 01-04-2012 01:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would be interesting to read the text of that 1973 letter mentioned in Robert's article.

For Apollo 17 there was a letter written by the recovery team leader explicitly listing those items 'returned to and/or retained by the Apollo 17 flight crew'. It covers the usual crew equipment but not any checklists. If such letters existed for earlier flights that would be very useful for proving ownership but it may well be that this letter was introduced following the fallout from the Apollo 15 hearings (and thus brought into effect after Apollo 16).

The spacecraft id plates are a different case. These were formally presented to the astronauts by Grumman and NAA some time after the flights, not taken from the spacecraft during the missions. I can't see how there can be any question as to Rusty Schweickart's ownership of his LM plate. The presentation ceremony at Grumman will have been well recorded.

I'm not sure what happened physically with the LM hand controllers. The CM controllers would have been removed post-flight by NAA and if these were later gifted to the astronauts (perhaps at the same time as the spacecraft id plates) this is presumably well documented.

In the end each type of item has a different back story, and therefore potentially a different legal status.

jimsz
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posted 01-04-2012 06:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has bungled what many believe their primary purpose is, to put men into space.

So what, they are now going to turn into an enforcement bureau because they see big bucks and they want their toys back?

Maybe it is time to dismantle NASA and rebuild it with adults in charge.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 01-04-2012 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With regards to the spacecraft ID plates, weren't three of them made, and thus implying that they were to be given to the astronauts - and there were three on each Apollo flight - afterward? I mean, if there were only one made, I could see the argument over who owned it.

alanh_7
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posted 01-04-2012 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it odd that NASA is so concerned about the ownership of these items only when there has been money to be made. Lovell 'owned' this checklist for 42 years. And only now that this and other items were put up for auction they want proof of ownership?

I suspect these items came into the astronauts personal collections with no formal paperwork. Lovell likely asked if he could have it or the checklist when the spacecraft was cleaned out without any formal ownership papers being signed and NASA likely knows that. That in itself speaks volumes about NASA's concern for the contents of its own spacecraft. There was no formal process as almost every astronaut seems to have valuable artifacts in their collections.

What I find difficult to fathom is that if NASA cared so much about these artifacts, why then was the Command Module Odyssey allowed to be torn apart, its parts scattered until the Kansas City Cosmosphere took it upon itself to restore it? NASA's track record with regards to its own artifacts is a little suspect. I think that checklist is a historic document and should be in a museum. But it has been in Lovell's ownership for so long its only now that a profit could be made on it that NASA has become interested in the title.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 01-04-2012 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
So what, they are now going to turn into an enforcement bureau because they see big bucks and they want their toys back?
Exactly. Clearly they bungled inventory control as well. Hindsight (coloured by $$$) is a wonderful thing; if the items are deemed valuable now, why weren't they deemed valuable at the time? NASA could have retained everything bar a few mementos for the astronauts, building up a treasure chest of historical museum-quality items that could be dripped into the market to provide funds, if required.

But they didn't... and they missed the opportunity not only to profit, but more importantly to build a meaningful historical archive of NASA's achievements. So collectibles get dispersed to collectors (who DO value them) - a benefit to collectors, but a loss to historical continuity.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
NASA could have retained everything bar a few mementos for the astronauts, building up a treasure chest of historical museum-quality items that could be dripped into the market to provide funds, if required.
As a federal agency, NASA cannot sell its artifacts for profit, nor can it take part in any fundraising activity.

NASA (and it's difficult to speak of the agency as a single entity, because like any federal agency it is a bureaucracy) is aware of its inconsistency with regards to enforcing artifact sales. For what it's worth, they say it is not the financial value but rather the historical value that guides their decisions, as well as the "curatorial value."

At the end of the day, if an item is pursued for return, it is not so the agency can own it (again) but so it can be turned over to the national collection as cared for by the Smithsonian.

In theory, I don't think it's necessarily wrong for NASA to ask questions about ownership, so long as it is open to weighing the replies it receives within the context of what is known to have transpired 40 years ago. It is if and when the agency decides to act without the benefit of its own historical record that is of concern.

Tykeanaut
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posted 01-04-2012 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm surprised that ownership can be an issue after a forty-odd year precedent?

SpaceAholic
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posted 01-04-2012 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
For what it's worth, they say it is not the financial value but rather the historical value that guides their decisions, as well as the "curatorial value."

Both are subjective criteria based on perspective (which changes with time and personnel). If this continues to be the trigger for government repatriation of artifacts then concerns expressed by cS members of suppression to the hobby (either via actual or perceived risk to ownership and sale) are with merit.

spaceflori
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posted 01-04-2012 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's not wrong asking questions about ownership but certainly not after 40 years. This would criminalize astronauts and collectors in the same league as killers and massmurderer (the only crime that has no expiration deadline for legal prosecutions - at least over here in a democracy).

At the end it was NASA who has failed over the last decades to properly handle their business and became a joke on their own.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceflori:
It's not wrong asking questions about ownership but certainly not after 40 years.
So when Betty Grissom made a claim on Gus Grissom's Mercury spacesuit decades after her late husband wore it to space, NASA should not have questioned that claim? Or when the Kennedy Space Center security guard came forward to sell the Apollo 1 crew's ID badges that he removed from NASA property and held onto for 40 years, NASA should have just turned a blind eye?

I disagree that there should be an expiration on asking questions, so long as NASA accepts the answers within the context of the history of the items.

quote:
This would criminalize astronauts and collectors...
No, not necessarily. If you look at what transpired during the DAC camera case, the government did not charge Edgar Mitchell with breaking any law; they asked that a judge declare the camera government property.

Or in the case against Max Ary, the collectors who in good faith purchased what turned out to be stolen artifacts were not criminals themselves.

space1
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posted 01-04-2012 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The irony about that camera fiasco is that, seeing the camera on display in a museum, instead of saying, "That's the camera that went to the moon on Apollo 14," people will say, "That's the camera that NASA yanked out of the hands of the astronaut."

spaceflori
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posted 01-04-2012 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I disagree that there should be an expiration on asking questions, so long as NASA accepts the answers within the context of the history of the items.
Robert, it's the way they behave and ask questions.

Remember me, remember others, they treat you like a criminal with Gestapo methods, nothing else. And I know what I'm talking about. Remember 2002?

Also you can't compare the ID badges with the recent checklist - did NASA ever attempt to get these items back or actively look for them? I doubt. Were they stolen by Lovell, I doubt. Fact is that few artifacts given away in those days as mementos have a written document they claim now there has to be. Everybody knows that.

In a democracy the claiming party has to present ironclad proof before they take any actions, in the US they threaten you, intimidate you and then claim "oh, we just asked for your cooperation."

Sorry but this is so pathetic and I feel sorry for those people involved like Lovell who has risked his life then and some lowlifes who were possibly not even born in 1970 that now play devil's advocate.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceflori:
Robert, it's the way they behave and ask questions.
Past experiences granted, but in this case — at least thus far — all that NASA has done is sent a letter asking for more information.

If that is all that transpires, then I don't think it's unreasonable.

I have issues with the timing (questions should have been asked prior to the sale) and with the lack of institutional memory, but the act of questioning alone — at least as it was done in this situation — is not something I think merits calling whoever wrote the letter "pathetic" or a "lowlife."

And if I'm not mistaken, you weren't alive in 1970 — neither was I — so let's not fault anyone for how young they may be...

spaceflori
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posted 01-04-2012 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct me if I'm wrong - but is that your legal understanding and procedure in the US:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
At this time, NASA's General Counsel has only requested further information about the provenance for the four artifacts.
I spoke to my attorney this morning, he ust smiled and said if they (someone over here) have a problem, then they have to present proof that something is wrong. I'm not a lawyer, but there is a legal term for it. You don't send out letters "do this or that". If you have a claim or a problem with anything, prove it or describe it.

It's up to them to prove not the astronaut, collector, dealer or auction house.

And you know VERY WELL, Robert, they don't do this so they can be attacked if they take any specific action.

Aren't you the country of million dollar lawsuits for too hot McDonald coffees? Why doesn't someone sue them for a couple million dollar for disturbing business.

As you say, why after the auction? The checklist was in the top media even here in Germany days before the sale! Why didn't they react earlier?

That's why I say pathetic and lowlife. Their behavior and timing is cowardly and guileful to say at least.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think there's been a misunderstanding. At least this point, there has been no legal proceeding. All that has happened is a letter was sent to the auction house asking to see the proof of ownership.

Heritage, per its own statement and following its own procedures, decided to halt the sale. From a business perspective, it was probably in their best interest.

NASA, at least according to its spokesman, has not claimed ownership on any of the four items.

As for the timing, it's not a satisfactory answer, but the General Counsel is not an investigatory office. They do not actively monitor the auctions; they responded once they were aware of the sale, which in this case was after it had been completed. Or so says NASA.

This leaves a lot to be desired but it does not merit name calling. I think we as a community can choose the higher road and discuss this civilly, without the need for insults.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 01-04-2012 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regardless of current motivations NASA's action speaks volumes with respect to the value it has hitherto placed on artefacts from the age of space exploration. The FBI (a federal agency, no?) has a museum in situ, the DEA has a museum; the NSA has a museum. NASA's stuff is scattered to the winds with little worth seeing at KSC and certainly nothing telling the story of the agency or space exploration with any passion or historical timeline.

xlsteve
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posted 01-04-2012 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
NASA's stuff is scattered to the winds with little worth seeing at KSC and certainly nothing telling the story of the agency or space exploration with any passion or historical timeline.
Not even in the Smithsonian? I think NASA giving artifacts to the National Air and Space Museum is in lieu of having its own museum (and NASM is just around the corner from NASA headquarters).

Cozmosis22
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posted 01-04-2012 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceflori:
It's up to them to prove not the astronaut, collector, dealer or auction house.
Used to be a saying around here, "Possession is 9/10 of the law." Thus, it should be up to the accuser to prove otherwise. But recently it's become "government knows best."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to stray too far off-topic but for the sake of accuracy...
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
The FBI (a federal agency, no?) has a museum in situ
It used to, but no longer.
The J. Edgar Hoover Building, the FBI's headquarters, is located 5 blocks from the National Museum of Crime & Punishment (NMCP). Unfortunately, the FBI no longer offers tours of the facility, but instead, you can tour DC's #1 interactive museum, NMCP consists of 3 floors on the history of American crime, punishment, and crime fighting.
The FBI now exhibits its artifacts at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, the International Spy Museum and National Law Enforcement Museum, as well the Newseum.
quote:
NASA's stuff is scattered to the winds with little worth seeing at KSC...
The majority of NASA's most important artifacts belong to the national collection as cared for by the Smithsonian. As for Kennedy Space Center, I guess it depends on your definition of "worth seeing."

Greggy_D
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posted 01-04-2012 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has made a claim against astronaut Jim Lovell, claiming that he does not have title to the checklist," Greg Rohan, Heritage's president, told collectSPACE.com in an e-mail.
That is not a simple letter, nor is it just asking questions. NASA has made an accusation against Lovell.

Has a copy of the letter been requested from NASA?

mjanovec
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posted 01-04-2012 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The next two paragraphs of Robert's article differ from Heritage's statement:
But the space agency interprets its inquiry differently.

"We haven't filed a claim against [the checklist]," NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs told collectSPACE. "But what we have done is notify the auction house that we are seeking proof of ownership of the artifact."

I'm guessing that it's easy for Heritage to interpret, in the heat of the moment, that NASA is making a claim to own the checklist. But formally speaking, they haven't made that claim...yet.

Greggy_D
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posted 01-04-2012 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, let's see the letter then. I'll gladly file a FOIA tomorrow and post the results here when I receive them. Best to deal with facts rather than he said/she said.

Also, according to the article, the IG was notified. This points to more than a simple letter asking questions.

james f. ruddy
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posted 01-04-2012 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for james f. ruddy   Click Here to Email james f. ruddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Pearlman is doing a fine job in informing us about NASA's actions. Let him do his work without criticizing NASA.

NASA, certainly, can read these posts.

Greggy_D
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posted 01-04-2012 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And Robert is also informing us about Heritage's actions, as it does affect the collectors who are waiting for their won items.

I do not think NASA is so infallible that they should not receive criticism about their actions.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
I'll gladly file a FOIA tomorrow and post the results here when I receive them.
NASA said it wasn't sure it could release the letter and Heritage didn't volunteer it.

Personally, I would want the astronauts affected to first agree to the letter being made public. I would assume you, nor anyone else here, would want to do something that however inadvertently makes the situation more difficult for those directly affected.

quote:
Also, according to the article, the IG was notified.
The IG is notified whenever the GC begins an inquiry as a matter of course. It is not unique to this situation.

manilajim
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posted 01-04-2012 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for manilajim   Click Here to Email manilajim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So now NASA is adding Rusty Schweickart and Jim Lovell to the growing list of astronauts they seem intent on screwing over. Even though there has been no formal request to hand over the artifacts there seems to be a request to "prove that you own it." Haven't we seen this before?

Can you imagine the hurt that Mr. Lovell and Mr. Schweickart must feel by this action? It's practically the same as being stabbed in the back. Just as Ed Mitchell before them, Jim Lovell and Rusty Schweickart are being screwed (in the early stages of it). It is so wrong and needs to stop.

Greggy_D
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posted 01-04-2012 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
NASA said it wasn't sure it could release the letter and Heritage didn't volunteer it. Personally, I would want the astronauts affected to agree to the letter being made public.
How could NASA not be sure? It is a yes or no question.

We're dealing with a letter from a public agency, about items listed in a public auction. Items sold for amounts which were made public. There is no secrecy here.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-04-2012 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally, I think we should allow Lovell, Schweickart and the third affected consignor the time to respond to NASA before third parties begin making their own inquiries.

manilajim
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posted 01-04-2012 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for manilajim   Click Here to Email manilajim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After 40 to 50 years these American heroes are being questioned by the same country that they risked their lives for. It has to be a terrible embarrassment to the astronauts as well as a feeling of betrayal towards them. I might understand the questioning of subsequent buyers (prior to the auction) but at a certain point, with the enormous amount of missing documentation on NASA's part, it has to be - "Enough is enough!"

Greggy_D
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posted 01-04-2012 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And that's another point Jim. How do you prove physical documentation of a verbal agreement or verbal disposition? It doesn't exist.

"Hey John, do you mind if I keep this checklist?"

"Nah... go ahead. It's yours."

Physical disposition documentation is another bugger. The disposition may have been recorded, but the records cannot be found or may have been destroyed. Does that mean the astronaut doesn't own the item? Even though NASA cannot prove they may or may not own the item?


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