Apollo 13 astronaut's toothbrush sells for $11,794

May 30, 2014

A toothbrush used by one of the American astronauts who flew to the Moon was sold at auction for nearly $12,000, or triple the starting bid, the auction house said Friday.

The clear Oral B-40 toothbrush was used by command module pilot Jack Swigert during the 1970 Apollo 13 mission and sold for $11,974, said the Nate D. Sanders auction house, which did not reveal the buyer.

Swigert was played by actor Kevin Bacon in the 1995 movie, "Apollo 13," which also starred Tom Hanks.

The mission was meant to be the seventh manned journey to land on the , but the touchdown was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded 55 hours into the trip.

Swigert and his two crew mates managed to convert their , Aquarius, "into a effective lifeboat" and returned safely to Earth, NASA said.

Swigert was one of 24 American astronauts to fly around the Moon as part of the Apollo program, but was not among the dozen who walked on the surface.

He died in 1982 of bone cancer at age 51.

The auction of personal items from his estate fetched a total of $224,940, the auction house said.

The most expensive item was a silver Robbins medal that Swigert was given for the Apollo 17 flight, the final lunar landing of the program, which sold for $56,250.

A still-working silver mechanical pencil that Swigert used on Apollo 13 mission sold for $10,313.

An Apollo-13 flown flag sold for $18,291, while an earpiece Swigert wore in space sold for more than $6,000.

Last week, a joystick controller from the fourth US manned , Apollo 15, sold at a Massachusetts auction for $610,063.

That was believed to be the most ever paid at auction for a piece from a NASA spacecraft, experts said.

Explore further: Dead astronaut's toothbrush on auction for $4,000

Related Stories

NASA's Apollo 13 checklist sells for $390,000

Nov 30, 2011

A checklist used to guide the wounded Apollo 13 spacecraft home after the explosion that led to the famed "Houston, we've had a problem" call sold at auction in Texas Wednesday for just under $390,000.

Recommended for you

Strong evidence for coronal heating theory presented

2 hours ago

The Sun's surface is blisteringly hot at 6,000 kelvins or 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit—but its atmosphere is another 300 times hotter. This has led to an enduring mystery for those who study the Sun: What ...

The view from up there, down here

6 hours ago

When many people saw the first stunning photos of the fragile blue marble of Earth from space, it changed their outlook of humanity. It was a singular moment in time when people around the world were watching ...

The weird ways fire behaves in space (w/ Video)

7 hours ago

Light a match on earth and you can expect the flame to shoot up in a tapering bulb. But light that match in space and you might not even recognize the small, blue orb at the tip. That's because fire behaves ...

Russia loses comms with ISS cargo spacecraft (Update)

10 hours ago

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were left with a long wait Tuesday to get their latest food and fuel deliveries after an unmanned Russian supply ship lost communications following takeoff.

Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

22 hours ago

No matter how beautiful or crystal clear the bubbling waters of an oasis may be, they seldom lead to technology breakthroughs. Yet, NASA's OASIS investigation's bubbles may lead to an ocean of new improvements ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

SamB
not rated yet May 31, 2014
Who bought it?... The US Army?
Would go nicely with their $800 toilet seats.
dan42day
not rated yet May 31, 2014
When I was reading the line, "...toothbrush... sold for...$12,000 or triple ..."
I thought it was going to say ," ...or triple what NASA paid for it".

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.