A small piece of microscopic moon soil was bought for half a million dollars after NASA decided it was part of the first lunar model collected by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Bonhams sold the Apollo 11 lunar spacecraft for $ 504,375 as part of its Space History Sale held Wednesday (April 13) in New York. The amount, which includes the buyer’s price, fell below Bonham’s initial sales estimate of $ 800,000 to $ 1.2 million.
“Lot 21 shown on your screens gives you a free chance to find a NASA -certified piece of the Apollo 11 critical mass,” said Ian Ehling, Bonhams director of good books. and manuscripts, before opening bidding at $ 220,000.
The Apollo project: How NASA sent astronauts to the moon
Ehling’s hammer dropped to $ 400,000 after receiving seven applications. The winner is not known.
The stock market marks the end of a difficult and sometimes difficult history for lunar dust since its arrival on Earth in 1969. Little by little, Bonhams could not give a full weight and indicate their size in microns. found in the stitches of a bag used to hold the first lunar sample collected by a lunar pilot.
The moon’s dust spots were used by a NASA curator to determine the flight of the bag, or “contingency sample return container decontamination bag,” on the Apollo 11 voyage after it was purchased at a national auction in 2015. After NASA’s rejection. to leave the bag, the cases filed by the winner in the purchase of the bag are prosecuted which is protected by the property of the buyer.
A later legal dispute, decided out of court, ended with NASA turning over the evidence after the bag was sold for $ 1,812,500 in 2017.
Bonhams sold the samples to them, which were enclosed in 10-millimeter-diameter black carbon tape attached to five basic aluminum scanning electron microscopes. An independent test conducted at Bonhams’ application found that four of the five stubs were attached to the moon’s soil particles according to the lunar contingency sample collected by Armstrong. The five wastes are different from the other four, probably due to changes in testing techniques.
NASA treats the lunar space returned to Apollo as a National Treasure and is not for personal use. Small differences were made for the astronaut’s memorabilia covered with moon dust and two sets of earth love gifts. The moonstones were given to astronauts as Ambassadors of Exploration in name only; samples were borrowed from the aerospace industry.
The Apollo 11 contingency sample, which contained 492 grams (17.4 ounces) of material larger than 0.4 inches (1 centimeter), and 12 rock fragments larger than 0.4 inch. , remains under NASA’s control, as most of the 842 pounds (382 kilograms) of the moon’s rocks, source samples, pebbles, sand and soil are returned to Earth by the six Apollo missions that landed on the moon.
There is little to buy by the law of lunar objects available to man. In 2018, Sotheby’s sold what was the only government -certified lunar soil in private hands, three small pebbles returned by the Chief 16 robotic probe of the Soviet Union in 1970. The cups, which weighed about 0.2 grams. (0.0007 ounces), sold for $ 855,000.
The same show, originally given to the widow of Sergei Korolev, the “Chief Designer” of the Soviet space program, was bought by Sotheby’s in 1993 for $ 442,500. With inflation, sales in 2018 reported an increase of $ 87,500.
Other materials recorded in the Apollo lunar soil and samples of the moon recorded in the tape were sold, but without the certification issued by NASA, to separate the examples of Bonhams.
Bonhams ’Space History Sale featured 22 pieces, including photographs from the launch of the Sputnik satellite planet, astronaut photographs and photographs.
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