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

November 30th, 2011 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
This image released by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas, shows a partial view of the Lunar Module Systems Activation Checklist of the ill-fated Apollo 13 Moon Mission. The 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.


This image released by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas, shows a partial view of the Lunar Module Systems Activation Checklist of the ill-fated Apollo 13 Moon Mission. The 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.

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.

The checklist booklet contains handwritten calculations by Commander James Lovell to determine the spacecraft's angle of descent back to Earth and other notes.

NASA transcripts show how Lovell asked Houston to "check my arithmetic to make sure we got a good course align." The three-man crew was running out of oxygen, water and heat and only had one chance to make it home safely.

The Apollo 13 Lunar Module Systems Activation Checklist fetched the highest price, at $388,375, for a piece of Apollo Space Program memorabilia that did not make it to the moon's surface, Heritage Auctions said.

"Without this (booklet) the Apollo 13 crew would not have known their position in space," said Michael Riley, senior historian at the Dallas-based auction house. "It helped create the greatest successful failure in the history of space exploration."

Apollo 13 was the seventh in the and was supposed to be the third to land on the moon. But an exploded two days after its April 17, 1970 , badly damaging the spacecraft some 200,000 miles from Earth.

The booklet was sold to an anonymous collector who lives on the east coast of the United States.

(c) 2011 AFP

"NASA's Apollo 13 checklist sells for $390,000." November 30th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-11-nasa-apollo-checklist.html