Astronauts and Fighter Pilot Traditions: Traveling Playboys

After a scandal involving “inappropriate” photos in a commercial airline cockpit, this site covered the fighter pilot tradition of putting risqué photos in cross country mission planning materials.  It appears the Apollo astronauts did the same thing.

On January 13th an auction house is planning to start selling off artifacts from a variety of space missions, including a Playboy centerfold:

Vintage color calendar photo of Playboy Playmate Miss August 1967, DeDe Lind, which was stowed away in the Apollo 12 command module Yankee Clipper during its November 1969 voyage to the moon…

The topless image is an original taken from one of the 1969 calendars published by Playboy and features the month and year of the Apollo 12 mission—November 1969. Prior to the mission, it was affixed to a cardboard cue card and, unbeknownst to the crew, secreted onboard their spacecraft…

The ‘flight of the Playboy bunnies’ has gone down in astronaut lore as one of the most iconic astronaut pranks. As fellow Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean explored the lunar surface—with small black-and-white photocopied Playboy images pasted into the wrist cuff checklists of their spacesuits—Gordon was left alone onboard the command module to circle the moon. It was there, in the silence and loneliness of lunar orbit, that he discovered his surprise stowaway crew ‘mate.’ This cue card was affixed via Velcro strips to the inside of one of his command module lockers.

A pixelated image can be seen with the auction house description.  With a minimum bid of $1000, it is currently set at twice the min bid of an entire set of autographed astronaut photos from 1959.