Back in December, we talked about the checklist that was put up for auction by Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell. The checklist was the item that Lovell used to make calculations needed to get his spacecraft home after an explosion ended the trip to the moon. NASA has now contacted the auction house where the item was sold and claimed Lovell didn’t own the item.
Lovell apparently signed an affidavit that asserted he owned the title to the ring-bound checklist. However, NASA says that there is no indication that Lovell was ever assigned the title to the document. NASA’s legal eagle noted that only NASA has the right to sell NASA property.
The auction firm, Heritage Auctions, is keeping the document in its vault and has suspended the sale until the legal wrangling is over. Lovell had sold the checklist at the auction house for $380,000. Apollo 13 was the moon mission that had a tank explosion 200,000 miles from Earth, which forced the crew to return home. NASA is also disputing the legal right to several other space items Heritage Auctions has sold in the past.