Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 jacket that flew to the moon sold at Sotheby’s for a record $2.8 million.

A jacket worn by astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the Moon set a new record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a space-flight artifact, while Aldrin’s pen, credited with saving the Apollo 11 mission, failed to sell. .

Bidding for Aldrin’s flight suit (will open in a new tab) opened at Sotheby’s New York on Tuesday (July 26) for $500,000. One of 70 lots on offer from the 92-year-old lunar rover’s collection, the fiberglass (beta fabric) jacket was donated by Aldrin when he wasn’t in his Apollo 11 spacesuit on his way to the moon and back 53 years ago. this month.

This is Buzz Aldrin’s jacket from Apollo 11. She will not appear again,” said Quig Bruening, Sotheby’s head of jewelry in America and auctioneer for Buzz Aldrin: An American Icon. (will open in a new tab)as bids on the jacket passed the $1 million mark.

Minutes later, Brüning lowered the hammer to $2,250,000. With Sotheby’s premiums included, the jacket was sold to an unnamed buyer who made a phone bid for $2,772,500.

“And that’s a world record for any space artifact,” Brüning said.

The previous record was set in 2019 when $2,055,000 was paid for the gold medallion. (will open in a new tab) Delivered by Apollo 11 on the orders of Neil Armstrong to the surface of the moon. The Robbins medallion, named after the mint that minted it, was one of three gold medallions delivered during the mission.

On the subject: Buzz Aldrin and the Apollo 11 mission

Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin in flight suit during the 1969 moon landing.

Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin in flight suit during the 1969 moon landing. (Image credit: NASA)

Aldrin’s jacket was also one of three that flew on Apollo 11. The jackets worn by Armstrong and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins are in the Smithsonian, as is the training jacket in size for Aldrin. According to the letter of origin included with the lot, Aldrin’s flying jacket has been part of his “private collection since we returned home from the Moon on July 24, 1969.”

A law passed in 2012 confirmed that Apollo-era astronauts retained the rights (will open in a new tab) mission-specific equipment that they kept as a memento of their space flights.

Sotheby’s appreciated before the auction (will open in a new tab) that Aldrin’s jacket would sell for between $1 million and $2 million, matching the same estimate as another lot offering a pen that was described as saving the Apollo 11 mission.

With some ingenuity, Aldrin used a Duro-brand felt-tip pen to close a circuit breaker to activate the lunar module lift motor, without which Aldrin and Armstrong could be stuck on the Moon. The lot also included a feather from the same crowbar that Aldrin accidentally broke while preparing to walk on the moon.

The lot reopened at $500,000, but trading only reached $650,000 before falling.

“Fair warning, hammer up, so last chance for the broken circuit breaker and the handle that brought them $650,000 home,” Bruening said.

Not reaching the predetermined reserve, the lot remained unsold. This was the only item in the sale that didn’t sell.

Many of the other flying artifacts offered by Sotheby’s were paper documents—flight plans and checklists—used aboard Aldrin’s Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 missions. The complete lunar flight plan was sold for $819,000, and the lunar module systems activation checklist that landed on the moon fetched $567,000.

Apollo Program: How NASA Feels Astronauts on the Moon

Tea "the most expensive fire extinguisher in the world." Sotheby's sold Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 water dispenser for $327,600.

“The most expensive fire extinguisher in the world.” Sotheby’s sold Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 water dispenser for $327,600. (Image credit: Sotheby’s)

A Whirlpool-made water dispenser that Aldrin and Armstrong used to rehydrate their freeze-dried products and that could be used to put out fires in the lunar module sold for $327,600.

“[That] the price of a fire extinguisher should be a world record,” Brüning said.

The “Go Army, Beat Navy” banner held by Aldrin during a spacewalk in 1966, which Sotheby’s called a pre-auction event, sold for $27,720.

Another item highlighted before the sale, Aldrin’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) “Moonman” figurine, topped $7,000 to $10,000 estimates and sold for $88,200.

In total, Buzz Aldrin: An American Icon sold $8,184,578 at Sotheby’s.

“We are thrilled to announce that its sale broke the world record for the most valuable space exploration sale ever held here for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. [in 2019]Brüning said. “So, congratulations.

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