Miami: NASA is questioning whether Apollo 13 commander James Lovell has the right to sell a 70-page checklist from the flight that includes his handwritten calculations crucial in guiding the damaged spacecraft back to Earth.
The document was sold by Heritage Auctions in November for more than USD 388,000, some 15 times its initial list price. The checklist gained great fame as part of a key dramatic scene in the 1995 film "Apollo 13" in which actor Tom Hanks plays Lovell making the calculations.
After the sale, NASA contacted Lovell and Heritage to ask whether Lovell had title to the checklist. Greg Rohan, president of Dallas-based Heritage, said on Thursday that the sale has been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry.
The checklist, he said, is being stored for now in the company's vault. Rohan said Lovell provided a signed affidavit that he had clear title to the ring-bound checklist, which is standard procedure. Heritage does robust business in space memorabilia and has worked with many former astronauts, he added....more
08:51 AM, Jan 07, 2012