Lunar watch fetches £1million: Bulova timepiece worn on Apollo 15 mission still has moondust on its face

| October 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

It may have a scruffy Velcro and cloth strap, but the only privately-owned watch to be worn on the moon has sold at action for £1 million.
The Bulova watch was worn by US astronaut Colonel Dave Scott during the 1971 Apollo 15 mission.
And the timepiece still has ‘residual lunar material’ or moondust on its face.
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The only privately-owned watch (pictured) to be worn on the moon has sold at action for £1 million. The Bulova watch was worn by US astronaut Colonel Dave Scott during the 1971 Apollo 15 mission

Scott wore his own watch over his astronaut’s suit during the mission, after his Nasa-issue Omega watch stopped working.
It proved vital in informing the astronauts on the moonwalks when to return to the lunar module.

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The aim of the mission was to explore Hadley Rille, a channel in the Hadley-Apennine region, and collect rocks.
Scott clocked up a whopping 546 hours in space across three missions – Gemini 8, Apollo 9 and Apollo 15.

Scott wore his own watch over his astronaut’s suit during the mission when his Nasa-issue Omega watch stopped working. It proved vital in informing the astronauts on the moonwalk when to return to the lunar module. He is pictured left wearing his watch, alongside James Irwin and Alfred Worden

The timepiece still has ‘residual lunar material’ or moon dust on its face (pictured). Scott clocked up a whopping 546 hours in space across three missions – Gemini 8, Apollo 9 and Apollo 15

He became the seventh man to walk on the moon and the first astronaut to operate the Lunar Rover on the moon’s surface.
Of the 12 astronauts to have ever set foot on the moon, Scott was the only one not to wear an Omega watch – which are still considered government property – whereas the Bulova watch was handed back to him.
Consequently it is the only one in private hands, which is what makes it so valuable.
The unique watch was snapped up for $1.3 million (£840,000) at a sale held by RR Auction, in Boston, Massachusetts, but cost the unnamed bidder $1.6 million (£1million) once fees were added.

Scott became the seventh man to walk on the moon and the first astronaut to operate the Lunar Rover on the moon’s surface. Both are shown in the incredible photo shown above that was taken by James Irwin

Of the 12 astronauts to have ever set foot on the moon Col Scott was the only one not to wear an Omega watch – which are still considered government property – whereas the Bulova watch was handed back to him. The watch is mentioned in the inventory (shown above) from the mission

WHO IS DAVID SCOTT? 

David Randolph (Dave) Scott was born on June 6, 1932 and is a retired US Air Force officer former test pilot and Nasa astronaut.
He made his first flight into pace as a pilot of the Gemini 8 mission, along with Neil Armstrong in 1966, spending just under eleven hours in low Earth orbit.
He then spent ten days in orbit as Command Module Pilot aboard Apollo 9.
Scott made his third and final flight into space as commander of the Apollo 15 mission between July 26 and August 7, 1971 – the fourth human lunar landing.
He became the seventh person to walk on the Moon and the first person to drive on the Moon.
The lunar module, Falcon, remained on the surface of the moon for 66 hours and 54 minutes, setting a new record for lunar surface stay time.
Both Scott and Irwin logged 18 hours and 35 minutes each in ‘extravehicular activities’ conducted on three separate trips to the moon’s surface.
They used Rover-1 to transport themselves and their equipment along portions of Hadley Rille and the Apennine Mountains, in order to survey of the area and collect 180 lbs (82kg) of rock.
Their activities were televised using a TV camera operated remotely by Mission Control in Houston, Texas.

In a letter sold with the watch, Scott, who is now 83, said: ‘The Bulova Lunar EVA (Wrist) Chronograph and attached Velcro wrist strap was worn by me on the lunar surface during the third EVA of Apollo 15, and then in lunar orbit and return to Earth.
‘The primary use of the wrist chronograph on the surface of the Moon was to track the elapsed time of consumables use (oxygen, water, and battery) in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) backpack.
‘Our mission was to basically double the capabilities and requirements of previous missions, including especially the duration of extra-vehicular activities (EVA) outside the Lunar Module.
‘At the moment of lift-off, I was fully responsible for the mission and the safety of my crew.
‘Among the decisions I made, the monitoring and use of time was perhaps the most important.
‘Time is of the essence during human lunar expeditions – and exploration time on the surface is limited by the oxygen and water (for cooling) we can carry in our backpacks.
‘Knowledge of precise time remaining was essential – as a backup to the standard issued Omega chronograph, I carried and used a Bulova chronograph on the lunar surface.
‘This unique strap was worn during each of my three EVAs on the lunar surface.’
The letter explains that Nasa post-flight personal collected all the equipment on board the craft used in the mission, but gave the Bulova back to Scott.
‘I do not know what occurred between splashdown and delivery to me,’ he writes.
‘Hopefully the new owner will share it with as many interested parties as practical.’
Before the sale, Bobby Livingston, head of RR Auction, described it as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’.
He added: ‘This precision timepiece, made available for the first time, is an astounding specimen rife with aeronautical and horological history – a key piece inherent to Apollo 15′s success.’

In a letter sold with the watch, Scott, who is now 83, said: ‘The Bulova Lunar EVA (Wrist) Chronograph and attached Velcro wrist strap was worn by me on the lunar surface during the third EVA of Apollo 15, and then in lunar orbit and return to Earth. This photo seems to show rust and moon dust on the back of the watch

‘The primary use of the wrist chronograph on the surface of the Moon was to track the elapsed time of consumables use (oxygen, water, and battery) in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) backpack, Scott said. He is pictured here giving a military salute beside the US flag deployed during the mission

NASA RELEASES ALMOST 10,000 STUNNING NEVER-BEFORE SEEN APOLLO MISSION IMAGES TO FLICKR 

Less than one month ago, around 10,000 photographs from Nasa’s moon missions have been uploaded toFlickr in high resolution, and offer a fresh look at the lunar landings – including Buzz Aldrin’s less than graceful descent onto the moon’s surface.
The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8, which circled around the moon on Christmas Eve in 1968, but it was the moment Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, that was Nasa’s crowning achievement of the 1960s.

The photographs of Neil Armstrong taking his ‘small step for man’ from Apollo 11 are instantly recognisable (one is shown), but there are also more unusual ones among Nasa’s Apollo archive taken by astronauts using chest-mounted Hasselblad cameras

Photographs presumably taken by Armstrong show Aldrin exiting from the Apollo Lunar Module and they capture the difficulty of climbing out from a small opening and descending a ladder in zero gravity.
More familiar images from various missions show famous footprints and magical views of Earth, while others offer a more surprising glimpse of the lunar landscape, with astronauts collecting samples from boulders larger than themselves and travelling across the satellite’s bleak hilly terrain.
Over the course of the Apollo missions, 12 astronauts walked on the moon and as well as conducting experiments, took some incredible photographs using specially-adapted Hasselblad cameras.

Photographs presumably taken by Neil Armstrong show Buzz Aldrin exiting from the Apollo Lunar Module (pictured) and they capture the difficulty of climbing out from a small opening and descending a ladder in zero gravity, onto the surface of the moon

Over the course of the Apollo missions, 12 astronauts walked on the moon and as well as conducting experiments, took some incredible photographs using specially-adapted Hasselblad cameras. This shot is from the Apollo 11 landings and shows the carrying of equipment

The originals are preserved and enthusiasts have made digital copies in high resolution of 1,800dpi, to allow us to see lunar details as never before.
Kipp Teague, who runs the Apollo Archive told The Planetary Society that the process to archive every photo taken of the moon taken by astronauts using their chest-mounted Hasselblad cameras, and extra taken from Earth and lunar orbit as part of the missions, has been a long one.
‘Around 2004, Johnson Space Center began re-scanning the original Apollo Hasselblad camera film magazines, and Eric Jones and I began obtaining TIFF (uncompressed, high-resolution) versions of these new scans on DVD,’ he said.

Over the course of the Apollo missions, 12 astronauts walked on the moon and as well as conducting experiments. This photograph shows one of the famous footprints left on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission, with the astronaut’s boot in shot

‘These images were processed for inclusion on our websites, including adjusting color and brightness levels, and reducing the images in size to about 1000 dpi (dots per inch) for the high-resolution versions.’
It’s now possible to see iconic footprints, craters, flags, lander and the astronauts themselves in the sharpest of detail.
Medium format Hasselblads were used to capture impressive detail in the first place, because the film they use is three is four times as large as a standard 35mm frame, The Verge reported. 



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