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Moon Dust Collected By Neil Armstrong Hits the Auction Block

15 July 2017, 08:04 | Winifred Adams

Moon dust collected by Neil Armstrong during the first lunar landing in 1969 could fetch $4 million at auction

Moon Dust Collected By Neil Armstrong Hits the Auction Block

Traces of lunar dust and tiny moon rocks are still embedded in the bag. Americans were the first ones to set foot on the moon.

The auction will be held on July 20, the 48th anniversary of the first moon landing, and organizers hope it will draw large crowds.

Though auction houses regularly boast exceptional pieces, rarely do their offerings go beyond the earthly realm.

The Associated Press reports the moon dust is valued between $2 million and $4 million, and is said to be the first sample of the moon ever collected. "Their lunar sample curator tested it and found that it was not only a lunar material but in fact dust from the Apollo 11 mission and then further research showed that the bag was, in fact, the bag that Neil Armstrong used to bring back that very first sample on Apollo 11".

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.

In 2015, the bag was sold to a Chicago attorney for merely $995.

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Sotheby's, which will auction the goods on Thursday, said the original objective 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.

Interested in the history of the bag, Ms Carlson sent it to be analysed by NASA, which confirmed its provenance through testing.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong did something no one had ever done before.

There are, too, actual pieces of actual ships - an altimeter cover flown aboard Apollo 9 and signed by mission commander Jim McDivitt, a pyrotechnic battery from the Apollo 11 lunar module.

Armstrong's snapshot of fellow Apollo 11 astronaut "Buzz" Aldrin standing on the moon could go for up to $4,000 (£3,100).

A Snoopy astronaut doll that was used as the mascot for Apollo 10 is also now estimated pre-sale at $2,000 to $3,000. Yuri Gagarin is the Russian astronaut who is actually the very first human to orbit the Earth in 1961.

The sale at worldwide art auction house Sotheby's also features the Apollo 13 flight plan annotated by its crew, a spacesuit worn by USA astronaut Gus Grissom, and lunar photographs taken by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).



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