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  Aurora Auctions April '07 Auction (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Aurora Auctions April '07 Auction
VCampbell
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posted 04-04-2007 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for VCampbell   Click Here to Email VCampbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aurora is pleased to announce that the color version of its catalog is loaded to the "Catalogs" page of the Aurora website in PDF form; the lot by lot version should finish loading from Ebay tomorrow. There is a wealth of artifacts, autographs and flown items for your consideration in this sale; we try to offer something for every level of collector! The following are some of the unusual items and highlights:
  • Rocket Scientist's Tie Tac (Lot 90) - This is really cool!!

  • Banana Pellet as used to train "Astrochimps" (Lot 175)

  • Document signed by all 7 Mercury astronauts (Lot 189)

  • For all you Turtles out there, a rare original pair of "Interstellar Association of Turtles" cufflinks (Lot 223)

  • Rocketdyne Mercury rocket engine contractor's model Lot 224)

  • Rare Apollo Program lock suit (Lot 332)

  • Apollo lunar module Grumman contractor's models (Lots 430 and 431)

  • Apollo Command Module North American contractor's models (Lots 432 and 432A)

  • A special item for all you baseball collectors: Apollo era "Pickup Game" Softballs signed by Apollo 12 (Lot 570), Apollo 14 (Lot 614) and Apollo 17 (Lot 720) crews

  • "Apollo 13" movie option contract signed by Jim Lovell and family Lot 590)

  • A fantastic selection of items flown to the lunar surface and to the Moon aboard Apollo 15 (Lots 634 - 645), including a handle for the Hasselblad camera used on the lunar surface

  • A rare Shuttle Program high altitude flight suit (Lot 916)

  • An extensive collection of Shuttle Program covers (Lot 997)

  • The original design proposal for the STS-51L Challenger mission patch, signed by the entire Challenger crew (Lot 1163)

  • Challenger Crew autographs (Lot 1168)

  • Tsiolkovsky manuscript (Lot 1241)

  • A Russian High Altitude suit complete with helmet and gloves (Lot 1252)

  • Chinese taikonaut signed covers (Lots 1448 - 1450)

  • An artificial "Mars Rock" used at JPL during the programming of the Viking Lander sampling arm (Lot 1456)

  • A rare Wright Aeronautical Corporation Employee ID pin (Lot 1472B)

  • A Wright aircraft piston ashtray (Lot 1472C)

  • Doolittle's Tokyo Raid" book signed by Jimmy Doolittle and 32 of his "Raiders" (Lot 1484)

  • Chuck Yeager Autograph (Lot 1516)

  • From the estate of a former North American Aviation executive, a premier Collection of North American Aviation aircraft ontractor's models (Lots 1584A - 1584AA), including some still in their original packing crates.

  • Admiral Byrd Autographs (Lots 1646 and 1649)

  • George Patton Autograph (Lot 1757)
We have just had another consignment come in with some wonderful items, including many singed items including an Apollo 11 crew signed photograph. We will be adding them to the listing by lot number and will be posting a separate summary of these lots to our website next week. Thank you for looking at our catalog!

Best regards,
Victoria Campbell
CEO, Aurora

art540
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posted 04-04-2007 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lot 123 bid coming right up!

mjanovec
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posted 04-04-2007 08:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some really questionable lots:

Lot 356 - autopens? (hard to say with the microscopic image)

Lot 460 - This A8 photo has been discussed previously on CS and opinion seemed to be that it wasn't authentic.

Lot 488 - Three apparent A10 forgeries (and very bad ones at that)

Lot 500 - Looks like one of those German Armstrong forgeries. Maybe someone can confirm this.

Lot 501 - Bad A11 forgeries...this stinker was in the last auction, if I recall correctly.

Lot 502 - Another bad looking set of apparent forgeries.

Lot 505 - Armstrong and the Spitfire!! Need anyone say anything more?

Lot 507 - Yet another apparent (and awful) Armstrong forgery.

Lot 575 - autopen?

Of course, all of the above statements are my opinion only and I certainly don't proclaim to be an expert authenticator. Potential bidders have to make up their own minds. But to me, this is certainly a "buyers beware" auction...at least for certain autographed items.

It's surprising to see so many potential forgeries allowed to slip through. Were ANY autographed lots rejected because of suspected forgeries?

Just so as to not to be all negative, I will say that Lot 1163 is a wonderful piece...truly unique and undeniably authentic!

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 04-04-2007 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the Model featured on the front cover/lot 224 is an S-3D/MB-3 (LR-79) which was employed on Thor IRBM/Jupiter - never used on Mercury.

Scott
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posted 04-04-2007 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Some really questionable lots
A lot of very nice artifacts (especially lunar surface ones) in the catalog. But the autograph section needs some serious attention.

Lot 488 is just awful.

Yes Mark I have no doubt at all that Lot 500 is the work of the master German forger. The Collins appears to be a vast improvement and almost appears authentic - though it being in the company of the other two sigs is not promising.

Lot 501: The stories people tell.

I would say Lot 502 is embarassingly bad, but won't, lest Richard tell me it's "in-person" and that I've made a huge mistake.

Lot 505: As Mark points out - a signed Spitfire photo??

Lot 507 is really painful.

Lot 678: Yet again this very obvious and well-known Irwin autopen pattern, his sole one, finds its way into the auction represented as hand-signed.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 04-05-2007 04:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm struggling to find the catalogue on the website.

freshspot
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posted 04-05-2007 05:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul, on the Aurora homepage click "Catalogs" and then click the session one and session two information. Each is a big file so it takes a while to download. If you cannot see the link on the Aurora homepage, I suggest hitting refresh on your browser -- you may be bringing up the page in cache from the last time you looked at it.

Thank you Vicki for putting together some interesting artifacts!

cosmos-walter
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posted 04-05-2007 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am glad to see Aurora catalogue online.

Among many desirable items I also found suspect Soviet and Russian items.

Lots 43, 1409, and 1413 are not flown.

Many flags and also covers are faked. I never saw a genuine item with "Foundation for Support of Russian Cosmonauts" CoA.

Richard
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posted 04-05-2007 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Who plans to be at the auction this time?

mjanovec
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posted 04-05-2007 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The real stars of this auction appear to be the Dave Scott lunar surface flown artifacts. It will be very interesting to see what some of these sell for...MUCH more than their estimates, I would think. I have imagine many of these items are well-stained by lunar dust.

ArtandAstro
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posted 04-05-2007 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ArtandAstro   Click Here to Email ArtandAstro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does Mr Scott really believe that the offered cable (Lot 642) that will come with a COA signed by him was part of his or Jim Irwin's PLSS?

This cable was definitely not used during one of the Apollo 15 EVAs.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-05-2007 01:31 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 ArtandAstro:
This cable was definitely not used during one of the Apollo 15 EVAs.
Len, can you elaborate? What is it about this piece that makes you doubt Dave Scott's word?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-05-2007 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Link to Aurora on eBay.

ArtandAstro
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posted 04-05-2007 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ArtandAstro   Click Here to Email ArtandAstro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
can you elaborate?
In two earlier Aurora auctions 2 electrical umbilical PLSS cable were already sold. And there were only 1 electrical cable per PLSS.

These sold cables looked completely different to the cable offered in the next auction.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-05-2007 05:17 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 ArtandAstro:
In two earlier Aurora auctions 2 electrical umbilical PLSS cable were already sold. And there were only 1 electrical cable per PLSS.
I went back through Aurora's catalogs and was only able to find one PLSS cable offered: lot 464B in the October 2004 auction. Can you point me to the other one?
quote:
These sold cables looked completely different to the cable offered in the next auction.
Speaking of appearances though, what the current cable (lot 642) does resemble, at least to a layman's eyes, is lot 706 in the November 2003 catalog.

That lot, described as an Apollo 15 flown umbilical cord from Deke Slayton's collection, offered a cable 36 inches long, with connectors on both ends and five Velcro tabs. According to its description, it was not used with the PLSS, but rather to connect Falcon and Endeavour.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 04-05-2007 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally got my auction catalog images on my computer. Yes, overall, I would agree with "mjanovec" and Scott on their prior examinations. But--there is much more to discuss about many of the upcoming Aurora lots being offered. Just for now, I didn't see anyone mention the below listed lots:

#451 -- Eisele AP

#490 -- Pre-printed (Grumman/LM-4 cert.)

#491 -- Young AP

#573 -- Bean AP

#594 -- Lovell forgery from early pattern

#655 -- Pre-printed autographs

#767 -- Not a Skylab flag, but Spacelab D-1

#786 -- Not Skylab, flew on Spacelab/STS-51B

Just from a quick glance with their Skylab and ASTP sections, I am seeing APs of Bean, Stafford (more than once), STS-1 crew with Young not genuine, and haven't had time to examine any further lots. There may be more concerns, even in the first section of the auction, but my computer scans from Aurora's online/ebay catalog are not the best with many signatures that are extremely light with hard-to-see images.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 04-05-2007 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quick note: Without checking Aurora's online catalog, Lot #451, from my notes, is a forgery (atypical) Eisele autograph and not an autopen (AP). Sorry about that.

mjanovec
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posted 04-05-2007 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Havekotte:
#491 -- Young AP

This is actually an autopen that is noted as such in the auction description. Shocking, I know!

ArtandAstro
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posted 04-06-2007 03:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ArtandAstro   Click Here to Email ArtandAstro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Can you point me to the other one?
There were 2 cable, I'm absolutely sure. One connector was marked P1 the other P4.

These sold cables looked completely different to the cable offered in the next auction.

quote:
Speaking of appearances though, what the current cable (lot 642) does resemble, at least to a layman's eyes, is lot 706 in the November 2003 catalog.

That lot, described as an Apollo 15 flown umbilical cord from Deke Slayton's collection, offered a cable 36 inches long, with connectors on both ends and five Velcro tabs. According to its description, it was not used with the PLSS, but rather to connect Falcon and Endeavour.


I also think that the offered cable connected the LM with the CM. May be it's a flown one from Apollo 9 or a spare one from Apollo 9 or 15?

However it's strange that this cable is offered as a PLSS cable flown and used on Apollo 15 (with a signed COA).

spaced out
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posted 04-06-2007 03:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Presumably the part number would solve this mystery. I can't make it out on the PDF version but I assume it will be visilbe in the printed catalog.

space1
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posted 04-06-2007 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ebay listing for the cable (item 260105029826) clearly shows part numbers for straps on the cable (LDW280-12107-1). These numbers are unusual in that they are from the number series related to the LM structure.

I can't find my copy of the Aurora November 2003 auction, so I can't comment on that cable. (Is a photo on-line somewhere?)

Matt T
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posted 04-06-2007 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also recall the previous PLSS cable(s); either the same one offered in succeeding auctions or two halves of the same cable, severed at the halfway point as I recall. Without catalogues to hand I can't check the specific sales.

It's clear that the oft relied upon "If the astro/astro's family says it's flown then it's flown" is NOT to be taken as gospel. Particularly it seems (given the recent record in the last few Aurora/Regency auctions) if the items originate from Apollo 15.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-06-2007 08:45 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 space1:
I can't find my copy of the Aurora November 2003 auction, so I can't comment on that cable. (Is a photo on-line somewhere?)
Lot 706 from the November 2003 auction can be viewed here.

space1
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posted 04-06-2007 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert for the link to the photo.

I have to agree with Robert on the similarity of these cables. A comparison of the current cable (lot 642) and the one sold previously (with the Deke Slayton presentation) appear to be the same type of cable. They are remarkably similar.

ArtandAstro
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posted 04-06-2007 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ArtandAstro   Click Here to Email ArtandAstro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Matt T:
either the same one offered in succeeding auctions or two halves of the same cable, severed at the halfway point as I recall.
There were 2 different PLSS cables offered. As I already mentioned one was marked with P1 the other with P4 (but Aurora used the same picture for both cables)

These cables were not 2 halves of the same cable, as each PLSS had only one of this type of electrical connector.

Or could it be that also these cables are not from Irwin's and Scott's PLSS?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-06-2007 11:02 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 ArtandAstro:
There were 2 different PLSS cables offered. As I already mentioned one was marked with P1 the other with P4 (but Aurora used the same picture for both cables)
I went back through all the Aurora catalogs and found the listings for the two Apollo 15 PLSS cables: As Len wrote, the two auctions used the same photo and same description. If it wasn't for the two sale prices (as reported in the back of the following auction's catalog) I would have probably assumed that the 2005 lot was a relist of the 2004 lot.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 04-06-2007 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The assertion by Aurora that the PLSS and subsequent lot 643 electrical cable harness are lunar landed are not substantiated by the Apollo 15 Stowage list (to include the Revision notices)...their analogs are listed but under different serial numbers. IMO the auction house should have already done this research to support provenance.

Lunar rock nut
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posted 04-06-2007 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could it be a relist? Just because it sold in October the buyer could have backed out for any number of reasons. Hence the $500.00 difference. Bidders in April may have remembered it in October and shied away from it. Even if it was a relist who submitted it as there was no mention of how it was obtained from the astronauts collection.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-06-2007 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As mentioned, the results of the October 2004 sale were published in the April 2005 catalog, the same catalog with the second PLSS cable listing. Len also mentions, presumably based on communication with Aurora or inspection of the physical lot, that the two electrical connector labels "P1" and "P4" were different.

In regards to the source of the lot, per the lot description(s), the cable(s) was in David Scott's "personal collection since that time" (referring to the time of Apollo 15).

mjanovec
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posted 04-06-2007 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is it possible we're seeing the same item re-listed multiple times? I don't know enough about part numbers and serial numbers to know if "ASSY 9046 SN 444" was unique to just one item or not. The same number has shown up in all three auctions.

Perhaps the buyer bit off more than he could chew at the first auction and asked Aurora to re-sell the item at the next auction. Or the buyer never made payment. It's feasible the first buyer never even took possession of the item and the item has been at Aurora ever since.

Perhaps the item wasn't reaching it's reserve. If they thought it was worth $10,000-$15,000 back in 2003 but only fetched bids up to $4,000, I would suspect it wasn't meeting their own reserve, so perhaps it never really "sold" in the first place.

There are a lot of possibilities. Maybe Aurora can weigh in on the discussion to clear things up.

machbusterman
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posted 04-06-2007 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
I'm struggling to find the catalogue on the website.
Perhaps that might be a good thing? Nothing terribly inspiring at all... I see 4 lots I may consider bidding on.... usually there's at least 40!

Lunar rock nut
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posted 04-06-2007 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aside from the obvious length diff. from then and now. The two previous connectors do not look used to me as I notice on the current lot The yellow rubberized coating definately looks used opposed to the photos in the previous listings. The connectors in those photos are fully coated and don't appear to show any wear. The photos are small though.

Matt T
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posted 04-06-2007 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"These cables were not 2 halves of the same cable, as each PLSS had only one of this type of electrical connector."

But as Aurora used the same photo for both auctions can we be sure that both lengths of cable terminated with this particular variety of connector?

Steve Shaffer
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posted 04-06-2007 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Shaffer   Click Here to Email Steve Shaffer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The debate over the Scott items is extremely important, and I for one urge Aurora to actively engage and respond to cS readers with information that addresses the concerns raised in the forum.

Aurora is not the only space auction house whose lots are subject to question. Regency Superior's latest catalog has its share of issues, but not one as fundamental as the authenticity of astronaut-consigned items. (The Rocketdyne model featured by Aurora--but apparently incorrectly describe as related to Project Mercury--is also in the Regency catalog (lot 1081) minus the Mercury (mis)information.)

I wonder why Aurora (and Regency for that matter) does not utilize an expert from cS to help it prepare its catalog and evaluate the authenticity of items? The debate over the Scott items makes it clear to me that something needs to be done to restore buyers' confidence.

WhiteKnights
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posted 04-06-2007 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WhiteKnights   Click Here to Email WhiteKnights     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not an expert but one of the items in question does appear to resemble a LM/CM umbilical Cord and not a PLSS cable. The cord itself is virtualy identicle to Lot 706 from the November 2003 Aurora Catalog. It is the same length 36", has the same type velcro tabs, beta cloth cover, ties, connectors etc.. Lot 706 from the Deke Slayton collection was mounted on a wood presentation plaque and also described as being Flown on Apollo 15.

SRB
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posted 04-06-2007 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Scott Schneeweis that lot 643 the LM Utility light Cord has documentation problems. As Scott said, the P/N doesn't match the number for the LM Utility Light and cord in the stowage list, and each Utility Light had only one cord with it (which Aurora agrees was already sold) not a second one. The cord with the Utility Light streched to make it usable throught the LM without the need to to attach an extra "extension" cord like the one in lot 643. In my opinion, to show this "extension" cord was flown in LM Falcon, more documentation and explanation is needed - but others may differ.

ArtandAstro
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posted 04-06-2007 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ArtandAstro   Click Here to Email ArtandAstro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SRB:
I agree with Scott Schneeweis that lot 643 the LM Utility light Cord has documentation problems.
Also the strap (lot 638) and the Hasselblad handle (lot 634) have documentation problems as their part numbers are not mentioned in the Apollo 15 "final as flown" stowage list.

Lunar rock nut
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posted 04-06-2007 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Serious issues arising. With the high side estimates on the items mentioned (as from his collection) total in excess of 85k.

SRB
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posted 04-06-2007 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I couldn't find lot 638 either but I'm not quite sure what is so I'm not sure where it might be listed. As for lot 634 the Data Camera Handle, I think it is listed as A. 1028 in the LM section of the stowage list.

space1
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posted 04-06-2007 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SRB is right; the camera handle is item 1028 on the stowage list.

I'm not concerned that the strap does not appear on the stowage list. It could easily be part of something else that does appear on the list. After all the Hasselblad film magazines do not also list their covers. The strap could easily have been part of another item. Items with similar numbers appear.

The strap number appears to be SEB 33100883-301 in the photo, or it could be the number in the description, 33100083-301. Either number is similar to numbers on the stowage list. For example, SEB33100879-301 is the gnomon stowage bag. Maybe this strap held the gnomon together, or some other lowly utility function.


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