Lot #3664
Orbiting Astronomical Observatory Launch Shroud Artifact

This lot has closed

Estimate: $200+


Portion of the launch shroud of OAO-3 'Copernicus' recovered from the Atlantic Ocean after its launch on August 21, 1972, affixed to a metal-on-wood NASA/Grumman plaque depicting the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory, measuring 7″ x 5″. In fine condition, with a small dent to the plaque. A collaborative effort between NASA and the UK's Science Research Council, the OAO-3 'Copernicus' carried an X-ray detector built by University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory in addition to an 80 cm UV telescope built by Princeton University. It returned high resolution spectra of hundreds of stars along with extensive X-ray observations. Among the significant discoveries made by Copernicus were the discovery of several long-period pulsars, with rotation times of many minutes instead of the more typical second or less.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #619 - Ended October 21, 2021