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

May 27, 2014

A toothbrush used by one of the American astronauts who flew to the Moon is being auctioned off at a starting bid of $4,000, a Los Angeles auction house said Tuesday.

The clear Oral B-40 toothbrush was used by Jack Swigert during the 1970 Apollo 13 mission, when he stepped in at the last minute to be the command module pilot after a colleague was exposed to measles.

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

Swigert and his two crew mates managed to convert their lunar module, 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.

Other personal items on auction include his mustard-colored flight suit (opening bid $6,000), a space pencil that flew in the Apollo 13 (current bid $8,250), and numerous patches, badges and pins.

The items on auction are from Swigert's estate and come with a letter of authenticity from his sister, said the auction host, Nate D. Sanders.

The auction takes place May 29, and bids are being accepted online.

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 for a piece of NASA spacecraft at a public auction, experts said.

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

Related Stories

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

November 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.

NASA says it's working to resolve items' ownership

January 9, 2012

(AP) -- The head of NASA met Monday with former astronauts to discuss who owns space artifacts from moon shots and other missions, saying afterward that the agency will work cooperatively with them to resolve what's recently ...

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

moontube
not rated yet May 28, 2014
27 astronauts few around the Moon, not 24. Apollo 8, 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 all flew around the Moon with three-man crews. Apollo 8 and 13 looped around once, while the others orbited the Moon multiple times.

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.