Apollo 12 Playboy Stowaway to be Auctioned
We’ve heard about the contraband corned beef sandwich aboard Gemini 3 in 1965.
We also remember the first song ever performed in space was “Jingle Bells” – using bells and a harmonica smuggled aboard Gemini 6 the same year.
And now, from the Department Of Launching Stuff Into Space Without Permission, comes a racy tale of the fourth member of Apollo 12 who flew to the moon and back in 1969: Playboy Playmate August 1967, DeDe Lind.
Of course, Lind didn’t personally stow away on the Command Module Yankee Clipper, but in the spirit of high jinx, a topless picture of her from a 1969 calendar was affixed to the inside of a spacecraft locker prior to launch (cropped version pictured top), unbeknown to the Apollo crew.
Richard Gordon on board the Apollo 12 Command Module Yankee Clipper (NASA)
While orbiting the moon, monitoring Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean as they explored the lunar surface below, third crew member Richard Gordon might have been feeling a little lonely. So it was a pleasant surprise to find DeDe’s picture, a mission memento he has treasured for over 40 years, stuck to the back of a cue card with Velcro.
“This cue card, which flew with me to the moon, has been in my sole possession and part of my personal space collection since my return from the moon in 1969 aboard America’s second lunar landing mission, and it remains one of the all-time greatest Apollo era astronaut ‘Gotcha’s!” Gordon describes in paperwork accompanying the calendar page for an upcoming auction.
DeDe’s photo, plus other space memorabilia dating from the early US space program to the shuttle era, are part of a special space auction being held by RR Auctions. Bidding is set to begin on Jan. 13.
Also, a Roosevelt dime that Apollo 1 astronaut Gus Grissom (co-pilot of the Gemini 3 corned beef sandwich smuggler, John Young) carried as a good luck charm is in the line-up. The same coin was given to Guenter Wendt, first pad leader for NASA’s manned space program, who sadly passed away last year.
Apollo 11 flags signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins will also be offered.
When looking through all the items being auctioned off, it’s hard not to be tempted to make a bid, the history each item carries is mind blowing. But $1000 as a minimum bid for Lind’s famous moon-trekking picture, I think I’ll be forced to keep my credit card in my wallet…
More information about Lind’s spacefaring exploits can be found on the auction house’s website (slightly NSFW, regardless of the strategic pixelated censorship).
Image of DeDe Lind used with permission. Credit: Playboy/RR Auction