Camera lens used on the moon sells for $453K

Posted at 10:02 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 00:02:29-04

By Lawrence Crook


(CNN) — A camera lens used by astronaut Dave Scott on the moon sold at auction for $453,281 Thursday night.

The camera was given to Scott by NASA as a memento of the historic trip he took aboard Apollo 15 from July 26 to August 7, 1971. It has been in his collection since then, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The lens was an integral part of the Hasselblad camera used throughout the four lunar surface missions, as well as two days in lunar orbit, Scott said in a letter that accompanied the sale.

The lens measures 12 inches long and has special tabs that pressurized spacesuit gloves could grab onto to adjust the focus. The camera was used to take nearly 300 photos on the lunar surface and in orbit, according to RR Auction.

Scott flew into space three times for NASA. His first mission was with Neil Armstrong. They were launched into space on the Gemini 8 mission. While in space, Scott and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space, according to NASA.

On his last mission into space he commanded Apollo 15, which was the fourth manned lunar landing mission, according to NASA.

Scott retired from the Air Force in 1975 with the rank of colonel. He logged over 5,600 hours of flying time during his career, according to NASA.

“We are extremely pleased with the results and honored to have again been selected to offer such an historic item from Astronaut Dave Scott, a true American Hero,” said Robert Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction.

“The lens is one of the largest pieces of space hardware used on the lunar surface to have ever be sold at auction,” Livingston said.

Several other items were auctioned Thursday night, including the Saturn V Flight Control Computer, which sold for $61,931; Scott’s Apollo 15 Lunar Surface-used Rover map, capturing $53,509; and a photograph signed by Neil Armstrong that shows his “giant leap” for mankind, which sold for $38,467.

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