Four Most Peculiar Yet Expensive Space Artifacts That Were Sold At Auction
Space buffs, rejoice! From Buzz Aldrin’s bag smeared in moon dust from the Apollo 11 mission to a Snoopy astronaut toy, find out the biggest amount buyers have shelled out to own some of these space relics.
If you are a space nerd and have always wished to own an iconic relic of space history, you probably know it does not come cheap. The world is so captivated by some of the early space programs that the value of one-time everyday articles skyrocketed from their actual worth. Together, Bonham’s and Sotheby’s have auctioned the most extravagant space relics. But other smaller auction houses have been prominent gameplayers, too. Below, we have curated a list of some peculiar yet expensive space artifacts that have successfully fetched astronomical prices at auction.
A bag from Apollo 11, smeared in moon dust: Sold for $1.5 million
Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong used this bag to accumulate rock samples from the moon, but NASA supposedly lost the sample and sold the bag at an auction in 2015 for a price of $995 only. After it was purchased, the buyer, Nancy Lee Carlson, sent the bag to NASA, asking them to examine the presence of moon dust. But NASA, instead of returning the artifact, requested Carlson to let them keep the bag and in turn, they would compensate her. Carlson disagreed, and she later handed the artifact to Sotheby’s.
Two books signed by Russian Cosmonauts: Sold for $1,400
Two ordinary-looking books, named ‘Heroes of the Starry Path’ were signed by Valentina Tereshkova, the Russian cosmonaut and also the first woman to fly to space. The Russian cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky, also signed the two volumes that were published in 1963 and 1977.
Lunar rock samples collected by U.S.S.R: Sold for $855,000
Russian cosmonauts brought back three grains of lunar rock samples from the Soviet Luna-16 mission in 1970, but the priceless relic changed hands many times. These regolith and basalt particles were first sold at an auction in 1993 for a price of $442,500. The owner demanded double the price paid in 2018 — and it was sold at Sotheby’s at a sky-high price of $855,000.
Apollo 10 Snoopy the astronaut dog: Sold for $22,000
It is the most peculiar one on the list because The Snoopy toy in an astronaut’s space suit never made it to space. However, that aspect did not seem to deter buyers from wanting to purchase it. The mass-produced Snoopy astronaut toy came with a signature by Gene Cernan, the late pilot of Apollo 10.
Did you know that the most wanted and expensive space memorabilia originate in the former U.S.S.R and the United States?