Space aficionados will get a chance Thursday to purchase rare Apollo artefacts including an Apollo XI crew patch signed by all three members of the Apollo XI mission - Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.
Bonhams Space History will host its fourth space auction Thursday in a category that focuses on space exploration from the early days of Project Mercury and Vostok to the historic Apollo moon landings.
The auctions will feature space artefacts such as patches, emblems, flags and lunar surface equipment, most of which astronauts such as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Yuri Gagarin used and signed.
"I'm excited about our fourth sale in this fast-growing category. With artifacts from several Apollo astronauts' collections, and some truly unique consignments from collectors and space industry veterans, I am looking forward to seeing some stunning results," Matthew Haley, Bonhams Space specialist, said about the upcoming auction.
The auction will highlight a vintage Sokol KV-2 space suit that ex-NASA astronaut, Shannon Lucid trained in prior to her 188-day stay on the Russian Mir space station. Lucid is a member of NASA's first astronaut class to include women, and from August 1991 to June 2007 held the record for the most days in orbit by any woman in the world. Auctioneers set the space suit estimate at $30,000 to $50,000.
The Apollo XI crew patch, on the other hand, signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins has a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Collins inscribed the patch as "Carried to the moon aboard Apollo XI, July 1969".
Other auction highlights include a US flag carried on Apollo XI with a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $25,000; a packet of dehydrated potato soup Fred Haise carried on Apollo XIII with a pre-sale estimate of $7,000 to $9,000; and an antenna from Russia's robot lunar rover with a pre-sale estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.
The US flag carried on Apollo 11, is mounted on a NASA certificate which reads: "This flag travelled to the moon with Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing, July 20, 1969."