NASA’s Apollo program was undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in human history. As the United States’ third manned spaceflight initiative, it’s still the only program to successfully land human beings on the moon.
This is exactly why artifacts and memorabilia from the Apollo missions, especially any pertaining to the moon landing, are almost impossible to find—until now. Featuring a collection worth between $2.9 million and $5.3 million, auction company Sotheby’s is holding its first space exploration live auction… on eBay!
Now, NASA geeks everywhere are saving their pennies to get ahold of some of this one-of-a-kind Apollo merchandise. Here are some of the best (and most expensive) items available…
1. Apollo 11 contingency lunar sample return bag ($2 million-$4 million): This NASA relic was personally used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to transport the first pieces of the moon ever collected. Furthermore, there are still fragments that remain inside of the bag!
2. Gemini G1C spacesuit thermal coverlayer ($40,000-$60,000): This thermal coverlayer for the Gemini G1C spacesuit was designed by the David Clark company in 1962. It was used by NASA Project Mercury astronaut Gus Grissom.
3. Apollo 13 flown flight plan, featuring art and drawings by some of the astronauts ($30,000-$40,000): Not only does this one-of-a-kind book feature the entire Apollo 13 flight plan, but also some awesome drawings by astronauts Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, and Jack Swigert.
4. Apollo command module reaction-control system propellant tank ($2,500-$3,500): Designed by Sargent Industries for NASA in 1970, this empty propellant tank was created by joining two titanium alloy hemispheres.
5. Collection of Apollo Lion Brothers crew mission patches ($1,200-$1,800): eBayers will be delighted to bid on this assortment of 12 different cloth crew mission patches embroidered by Lion Brothers from varying Apollo missions 1 to 13.
6. An autographed photo of Buzz Aldrin with the American Flag ($1,000-$1,500): This eight-by-10-inch color photograph of Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon is autographed by the man himself.
7. Russian Isayev rocket engine ($6,000-$9,000): In 1957, Design Bureau of Russia rocket engineer Alexei Isayev created this unfired V-751 liquid propellant sustainer power plant. It would be an incredibly rare addition to any NASA fanatic’s memorabilia collection.
8. Vostok-1 spacecraft model ($10,000-$12,000): This unique, high-fidelity space model was designed by NPO Energia, a Russian manufacturer, with the purpose of exhibition. The actual spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961 and carried Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, which made him the first human to ever visit space.
9. Space shuttle orbiter computer processor ($5,000-$7,000): Featuring the serial number 04, this computer processor was one of the first four production units ever created. They were designed to transmit and format computer commands, and to receive orbiter flight responses.
10. NASA Apollo 11 Press release photo ($2,500-$3,500): This series of unique photographs features the Apollo 11 astronauts partaking in various forms of preparation for their eventual trip to the moon. Here, Buzz Aldrin practices collecting lunar samples.
11. NASA Apollo 11 Press release photo ($2,500-$3,500): Autographed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin on July 3, 1969, this unique photograph features the Apollo 11 astronauts seated inside of the crew transfer headed back from the Saturn V launch pad following the countdown demonstration.
12. Autographed Apollo 10 lunar module crew mascot ($2,000-$3,000): This 10-inch-tall Snoopy Astronaut doll was designed in 1969. It’s also autographed and inscribed by Gene Cernan, Apollo 10 Lunar Module Pilot, making it a true one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia.
13. A record file on the first flight by USSR citizen cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin ($50,000-$80,000): Written aboard the spaceship-Sputnik Vostok, on April 12, 1961, this incredibly rare item documents one of the greatest moments in the history of mankind.
14. Kennedy Space Center Apollo Saturn launch viewing tickets ($1,200-$1,800): These unique tickets were given to very few guests, VIPs, press corps, and flight support personnel. To get your hands on them would be an incredible feat.
15. Flown Apollo 11 flight plan sheet ($20,000-$30,000): From Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin’s personal collection, the few pages of this original flight plan features descriptions of of the crew’s activities while exploring the moon!
16. Flown Apollo 9 altimeter cover ($3,000-$5,000): Taken directly from the collection of Peter Fadis, this command module altimeter was flown on Apollo 9, and it is autographed and inscribed by Jim McDivitt. Its purpose was to indicate the altitude pressure of the command module up to 60,000 feet.
17. Autographed photo of Buzz Aldrin at Tranquility Base ($3,000-$5,000): Perhaps the most widely recognized photograph of the Apollo program, this color photo of Buzz Aldrin—taken by Neil Armstrong himself—shows the first moonwalk by a human being.
18. Flown Apollo 11 common module skin fragment ($1,500-$2,000): Taken directly from Buzz Aldrin’s personal collection, this piece of foil material was a thermal protection layer on the outside of the command module, Columbia. Not only was it exposed to the space vacuum for 195 hours, but it travelled more than 500,000 miles and was also in lunar orbit for 60 hours. It’s accompanied by a personalized note from astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
19. Apollo 11 operations plan for lunar surface exploration ($6,000-$8,000): This rare document details a number of important plans for man’s first ever moonwalk, including expected procedures for collecting lunar samples from the moon.
20. Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins’ crew-signed Apollo 11 emblem ($40,00-$60,000): Taken directly from Michael Collins’ personal collection, this is one of a select few artifacts from that mission. Additionally, it’s signed by Buzz Aldrin and dated July 1969.
These are some incredibly Apollo items that you can’t get anywhere else. Whoever wins the auctions will be one lucky son of a gun!
Share these awesome Apollo auction items with your friends below!