Apollo 11 hand controller starts at $10,000 with RR Auction

RR Auction's May 23 auction of space and aviation memorabilia will be highlighted by an extraordinary addition - the original hand controller used on the historic Apollo 11 mission.

Apollo 11 hand controller
Al Worden's example from Apollo 15 sold for over $72,000 in April, so strong results are almost certain in this sale

The joystick-style controller will start with a minimum bid of $10,000, but will undoubtedly soar far past this as collectors compete to own the remarkable item. It was used by members of the Apollo 11 crew to guide the spacecraft on its journey to the Moon.

The grey grip was attached to a rectangular box of switches mounted beneath, which helped steer the spacecraft in either direction around all three axes.

There were two of these, mounted alongside each couch and connected in parallel so that they could be operated without switching.

The grip originates from the personal collection of Bill Whipkey, head of the scheduling office and machine shop at the Johnson Space Centre.

In April, the hand controller from the command module of Apollo 15 sold for $72,556, spelling great results for the Apollo 11 example.

As RR Auction correctly states, Apollo 11 items are the most desirable of all space memorabilia. 

The Apollo 11 Command Module and more than 100 of its components are housed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Few major pieces therefore come up for auction, meaning extremely strong interest is expected for the controller.

Also starring, with a minimum bid of $5,000, is an Apollo lunar module flight director attitude indicator (FDAI), otherwise known as an 8 Ball.

Used to define the relative position of the spacecraft in three-dimensional space, this is the first FDAI from a lunar module to have been offered for sale, though other examples from the command module have sold.

We are currently offering a fantastic opportunity for collectors - the chance to own a signed photograph from every US astronaut to have set foot on the Moon.

This extraordinary collection is incredibly rare, with each photograph in fantastic condition and sporting a clear, bold signature. Four of the astronauts included are no longer with us, making it almost impossible to compile a similar collection today.

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