Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Neil Armstrong's Moon Bag to Fetch up to $4 Million at Auction

Neil Armstrong's Moon Bag to Fetch up to $4 Million at Auction

"Something that was used by the first man, on the first mission to collect the first samples, it's remarkable".

Famous worldwide auction house Sotheby's is ready to auction out a significant piece of Space Exploration history.

The event is recalled in an auction titled Space Exploration in Sotheby's, New York, on July 20th which includes the "Apollo 11 contingency lunar sample return bag - used by Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11 to bring back the very first pieces of the moon ever collected - traces of which remain in the bag".

Ironically, just three years ago, the Armstrong moon dust bag failed to find a bidder at a U.S. Marshall's service auction.

Almost all of the equipment from the mission is housed in the U.S. national collections at the Smithsonian Museum but, according to Sotheby's, a recent court ruling has allowed this to be the only such artefact in private hands. After being lost for years and having been passed from one auction to another, Neil Armstrong's moon dust bag is valued at $2 million to $4 million. It was reportedly misidentified and merely sat in a box at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Sotheby's, which will auction the goods on Thursday, said the original goal of the bag was only discovered two years ago, when its current owner bought it as part of an auction of assets seized by the U.S. Marshall's Service. The museum manager was then convicted of the bag's theft.

Armstrong collected dust and rock fragments from five different locations on the lunar surface.

There are other items from the Apollo 11 mission open for bidding as well.

The bag was offered four times for sale, before an IL lawyer finally snapped it up in 2015 for a winning bid of $995.

(Photo: Sotheby's) The photograph of Buzz Aldrin taken by Neil Armstrong is one of the Apollo 11 mission's most iconic photograph. Perhaps most evocative is the astronauts' in-flight paperwork - a signed lunar map used by Apollo 8 navigator Jim Lovell when he and two crewmates became the first human beings to orbit the moon; a flight plan, filled with scribbled notes and workarounds, that Lovell and his Apollo 13 crew used 16 months later as they brought their crippled spacecraft back to Earth. His in-depth report, in English, has an estimated value of $50,000 to $80,000.

It's one of 180 lots linked to space travel that Sotheby's is auctioning off July 20 to mark the 48th anniversary of the pioneer lunar landing on that date in 1969.

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