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Item 8061 - Apollo 14: Alan Shepard's Flown 'Gag Gift' Baby Bottle Nipple Catalog 511 (Oct 2017)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $300.00
Sold Price: $2,027.38 (includes buyer's premium)

Description


A baby bottle nipple given by Dan Schaiewitz to Alan Shepard as a gag gift ten days prior to the Apollo 14 launch, which Shepard then brought with him on the flight to use as a prank (though he did not find the opportunity to do so). The rubber nipple is presented in a rotating display case. In fine condition. Accompanied by a detailed informational packet produced by Schaiewitz describing the party at which he presented Shepard and Edgar Mitchell with three gag gifts, and providing the story of the nipple: "The in suit drinking device (ISDD) was first used on Apollo 14 to provide a source of drinking water during the two Apollo 14 lunar excursions. During KSC EVA practice sessions, Astronaut Shepard constantly complained that the ISDD nozzle was 'uncomfortable'…and, as he said, 'I'd rather be sucking on a 'baby bottle nipple'…Al said to Ed jokingly (Dan thought) 'Why don't I take this with us and try it out'…What happened with the 'baby bottle nipple' is another story that Al revealed to Dan at a party at Dan's apartment in Cocoa Beach. Al handed the 'baby bottle nipple' to Dan and related that he took it with him to the moon with the intent to 'jokingly' try it out if the mission was 'going well' and if there was time for a little levity. He said no one but 'Deke' (Deke Slayton) knew about the prank. Bottom line according to Al, there was no realistic opportunity to discuss the 'sucking' problem and the 'baby bottle nipple' solution during the mission as he originally planned." Slayton was also the only one who knew about the smuggled golf club prank, which Shepard did manage to execute—he famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface using a six-iron clubhead attached to a lunar excavation tool. Also includes a large 39 x 14.5 framed informational display, as well as an original candid photo of Schaiewitz, Shepard, and Edgar Mitchell at the party where they received the gag gifts. A decidedly one-of-a-kind piece demonstrating the fun that astronauts were able to have despite their serious missions. From the collection of Dan Schaiewitz, who worked as Extravehicular Crew Training Engineer at KSC. View Dan's many Collect Space posts here. Engineer Dan Schaiewitz gives us a fascinating firsthand glimpse into his experiences on the cutting edge of space exploration during the Apollo missions, in this podcast.

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