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Lot 46: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE GEOLOGICAL TOOL HANDLE
by I.M. Chait
May 16, 2010
Beverly Hills, CA, USALive Auction
APOLLO LUNAR MODULE GEOLOGICAL TOOL HANDLE
This object, like the titanium dump valve disk, was cut using experimental technology, testing the concept of cutting objects by transmitting instructions for replicating an original, via phone, to computer-controlled cutters.
Unlike the disk, which could not be assigned to Lunar Module cabin flight readiness, no matter how successful the experiment, geological tools were considered safe and could be assigned as flight hardware.
This rod was a flight-ready item, and is available only because missions beyond Apollo 17 were canceled and because it was not loaded into a LM descent stage equipment bay and sent to the moon (all geological tools were left on the moon with the descent stages). The shaft held interchangeable tool-heads, and is identical to the tool on which astronaut Alan Shepard attached his custom-fitted golf club head, and fired off two golf balls carried to the moon in his personal pouch. According to Shepard, the golf balls flew "for miles and miles" in the 1/6th Earth gravity - and, on a surface whose every square foot was a field of mini-craters, "each scored a hole-in-one."