The long-lost bag used by U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong to bring back to Earth the first samples of moon dust is expected to sell for up to $4 million when it is auctioned with other space memorabilia next week in New York City.
The sale at international art auction house Sotheby’s also features the Apollo 13 flight plan annotated by its crew, a spacesuit worn by U.S. astronaut Gus Grissom, and lunar photographs taken by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The auction will be held on July 20, the 48th anniversary of the first moon landing, and organizers hope it will draw large crowds.
“It (space) is one of few subjects that I think are not culturally specific. It doesn’t matter your religion, where you’re from, what language you speak,” Cassandra Hatton, a vice president and senior specialist at Sotheby’s, said on Wednesday.
“We all have the common experience of staring up at the sky and wondering what’s going on amongst the stars.”
The fate of the bag, which measures 12 inches by 8.5 inches and is labeled “Lunar Sample Return”, was unknown for decades after Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crew came home in July 1969.