Apollo 15 Rotational Hand Controller Up For Auction


On July 26, 1971 a Saturn V rocket blasted away from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center en route to Hadley Rille on the moon. Commanded by Dave Scott, Apollo 15 was touted by NASA as the most successful lunar landing to date. It was the first of the “J Missions”, which included a longer stay on the moon’s surface than the earlier missions and a greater focus on science.

Now you can own a piece of that spacecraft.

RR Auctions has been tasked with selling the Rotational Hand Controller used by Dave Scott to land the Lunar Module “Falcon”. It was with this controller that Scott was able to control the LM so that he and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin could carry out their mission. The RHC was then used to guide the LM back to the Command and Service Module orbiting over their heads and manned by Alfred Worden.

Included in the auction is the complete RHC and a letter of authenticity from Dave Scott including a narrative of his landing on the moon. It’s expected to bring in $300,000, so start saving those pennies!

If you were to win this auction, what would you do with it? Display it next to your authentic light sabers used on the set of Return of the Jedi? Donate it to a museum? Hack it to control your Atari Lunar Lander game?

[Image Credit: RR Auctions]

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  • P161911

    Is that black trigger for the guns? What EXACTLY were we doing on the moon?!?

  • OA5599

    The auction site says the controller has been in Scott's personal collection since returning to Earth. Considering all the trouble Scott got into as a result of the postage stamps, I wonder if NASA at the time knew he had kept part of the lander.

    <img src=""&gt;

    • P161911
      • engineerd

        Very interesting.

        The Apollo 15 crew also left a little monument to astronauts and cosmonauts who had died on the moon without NASA knowing. After they came back they mentioned it in the news conference. NASA eventually commissioned the sculptor to create a replica for display on earth.

        • OA5599

          It was a Smithsonian commission, not NASA. And apparently there was a big rift between the sculptor and the astronauts.

          There's a good writeup here:

          • engineerd

            Interesting article! That's quite a bit different from how I always heard the story.

  • sawer-massey

    I would use it to play this: <img src=""&gt; image source: wikipedia

  • Batshitbox

    We still have the Lunar Lander arcade game here at Ye Olde Exploratorium. It's no longer on the exhibit floor, but in one of the office spaces, still running.
    We also have a NASA space suit but I have no idea where we got it or what its history is.

  • Tiller188

    "Hack it to control your Atari Lunar Lander game?" I have neither of those things…but suddenly I want both.

  • tiberiusẅisë

    That would make a great controller for a roof mounted spotlight on a Jeep.