Playboy Playmates... from SPAAAACE!
If you’re an an aerospace nerd, you won’t want to go anywhere near the catalogue for RR Auctions’ upcoming Space Auction - or if you do start browsing it, you’re going to want to freeze your credit card first. It’s a goldmine of trinkets from the Gemini program right through to the Shuttle program, and some of them are pretty damn special.
The highlight of the collection is Charlie Duke’s CAPCOM headset from Apollo 11 mission control ($5,000 minimum bid) - the headset he was wearing when Neil and Buzz touched down on the surface of the moon. If you’ve got four square feet of wall space and $1,000 for the minimum bid, you can have an original Apollo command module instrument panel up on your wall (and it wouldn’t take much work to re-wire it to control your lights, which would give you the most awesome home theatre ever).
It’s probably dramatically overpriced at $2,500, but I’m sort of partial to this little trinket from the Apollo 16 mission - an orange-flagged pin from one of the experiments that flew to the moon on Apollo 16, signed by Charlie Duke (seen here during the mission) and still coated with lunar dust(!).
For a bit less money, there’s still plenty of interesting souvenirs to be found amongst the mess of signed photos and souvenir covers. If you must have something that’s flown to space (and the premium for space-flown items over earthbound items seems to be a factor of five or more), there’s plenty of pieces of kapton foil; a lunar module umbilical cable from Apollo 15; assorted flight plan pages and star charts; a full flight plan from Apollo 11 (probably not bad value if it goes for close to the $300 start bid); and even an Apollo 13 Lunar Surface Procedure, poignantly described as “fine - and obviously unused - condition”.
And there’s one more exceptionally notable piece (NSFW for pixelated breasts and you’ve already clicked the link haven’t you so I can type anything I like here and you won’t read it blah blah blah blah wibble). Described as “the unofficial fourth crew ‘mate’ of Apollo 12”, and “one of only two known original Playboy bunny colour likenesses to have made it to the moon and back” (I wasn’t aware they kept track of such things), the listing speaks for itself:
Vintage color calendar photo of Playboy Playmate Miss August 1967, DeDe Lind, which was stowed away in the Apollo 12 command module Yankee Clipper during its November 1969 voyage to the moon. Measuring approximately 4.5 x 6.5, the topless image is an original taken from one of the 1969 calendars published by Playboy and features the month and year of the Apollo 12 mission–November 1969. Prior to the mission, it was affixed to a cardboard cue card and, unbeknownst to the crew, secreted onboard their spacecraft.
Do click through and have a look at the “racy” dedication on the accompanying photo, as well - really it’s about as racy as Carry On In The Command Module, but you’ll definitely get a chuckle from it.