PetaPixel

NASA Accuses Astronaut of Swiping Moon Camera, Sues to Get It Back

Between 1969 and 1972, NASA left 12 Hasselblad cameras on the moon to make room for moon rocks. One camera that wasn’t left there was a 16mm camera called the “Data Acquisition Camera” used during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. It’s now in the center of a legal dispute between the US government and astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth person to set foot on the moon. Mitchell claims that NASA allowed him to keep the camera as a souvenir after the mission, while NASA says that no evidence of this transfer ever took place. The camera was slated to be auctioned for an estimated $60,000-$80,000, but now NASA is suing Mitchell to get the camera back. The lawsuit states,

All equipment and property used during NASA operations remains the property of NASA unless explicitly released or transferred to another party.

Looks like those Hasselblads on the moon aren’t free for the taking after all. Shucks.

(via Reuters via Space)


 
  • http://profiles.google.com/slimspidey Spider- Man

    LOL It is their property when they want it but the litter the moon with cameras and eject them out into space. Oh the IRONY ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/slimspidey Spider- Man

    LOL It is their property when they want it but the litter the moon with cameras and eject them out into space. Oh the IRONY ;)

  • http://twitter.com/roblarosa Rob LaRosa

    Well forget it then. I’m going to have to cancel my trip to the moon if that’s NASA’s position.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PQ54IG5P6I73FWHYGC4LVDZQYI Michael

    Looks like another case of “he said, she said”.  I guess the one with the deeper pockets will win.

  • Jan

     “Looks like those Hasselblads on the moon aren’t free for the taking after all”

    I’m no expert on US law (not that US law would be applicable on the moon probably), but here in The Netherlands it’s like this: if you leave something with the trash you relinquish it’s property, even if you regret it later. So I would guess those Hasselblads are free for the taking. Good look retrieving them ;)

  • Hawk1500

    yeah so if someone went to the moon and took the cameras back, they are going to sue them too?  it’s not like NASA owns the moon or something.  Although I guess NASA tok him to the moon, but still.

  • Dave

    I finally get to use the new word I invented:”dumbasstronaut”

  • Robm69

    This guy goes to the moon risked his life
    and he can’t even get the camera ?

  • Anonymous

    So I don’t have to put them back? Phew!

  • Anonymous

    So I don’t have to put them back? Phew!

  • Ken Elliott

    I wondered why I only found two. You got there first!

  • Ellis Vener

    Outcome of case (from Captain Mitchell’s Wikipedia page: “In October, 2011, prosecutors and Mitchell reached a settlement agreement, under which Mitchell gave up any claims to the camera and agreed to return it to NASA, which in turn would donate it for display at the National Air and Space Museum”