Neil Armstrong bag containing traces of moon dust was sold at an auction for USD 1.8 million on 20 July 2017 in New York. The bag was sold to an anonymous buyer following a sluggish five-minute bidding war on the telephone.
The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first dust samples from the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned mission to the moon in 1969 and the auction marked the 48th anniversary of that mission.
During the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong collected nearly 500 grams of material finer than 1 cm, as well as 12 rock fragments larger than one cm from five different locations at the Sea of Tranquillity.
It was the only artefact from the Apollo 11 mission that has been given in the private hands. After Apollo 11 returned to Earth, nearly all the equipment from the mission were sent to the Smithsonian, the world's largest museum.
The bag was left languishing in a box at the Johnson Space Center due to an inventory error.
The auction was organised by Sotheby’s auction house. Its previous owner was an Illinois lawyer, who bought it in 2015 for USD 995.
Other items auctioned by Sotheby’s at 48th anniversary of Apollo 11 Mission
• Armstrong's snapshot of fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon that fetched USD 35000 at auction.
• A flight plan autographed by crew members of Apollo 13 mission went for USD 275000.
• A picture of astronaut Charlie Duke on the lunar surface during the Apollo 16 mission went for USD 37500.
• A picture of man's first look at Earth from the moon fetched USD 17500.
• A Snoopy astronaut doll that was the mascot of the Apollo 10 crew was sold at USD 27500.
• Auction of these various items garnered a total of USD 3.8 million.
When: 20 July 2017
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