The command module hand controller used during Apollo 15's mission to the Moon has sold as one of the top lots in Nate D Sanders' April 2 online auction.
The controller brought an impressive $72,556, displaying the continuing strong demand for space memorabilia at auction. It was accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from command module pilot Al Worden.
"This control stick cover, NASA serial number MSC 991-0001.12, was the hand controller I used during the flight of Apollo 15. The function of the hand controller was to adjust the attitude of the spacecraft during flight," Worden writes.
"This controller was essential to the success of Apollo 15 and has been in my possession since the flight."
According to Worden, it is an unofficial tradition at NASA to present the control stick cover to the command module pilot following a successful flight. It is mounted on wood, with the serial number of the cover written beneath.
Also featuring in the sale was a Neil Armstrong signed photograph, bearing a clear crisp autograph. Accompanied by a PSA/DNA letter of authenticity, it sold for $5,118, as collectors continue to celebrate the first man on the Moon's life following his death in August 2012.
The passing of Armstrong has caused the value of his autograph to rise by 26% between 2011 and 2012, according to the PFC40 Autograph Index, making it the top performing autograph of last year.
On April 18, Heritage Auctions will sell the Moonwalker's childhood toy plane.
We also have a spectacular collection of space memorabilia for sale, including Apollo 11 crew autographs and a complete set of signed photographs of every Moonwalker.