Over the weekend, the semi-annual Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's charity auction closed - and achieved the best total to date for its small selection of choice items.
As expected, the top lot in the sale was an 'astronaut experience' rather than a collectible item as such, though interestingly the experience was a tour of a range of highly collectible pieces:
Apollo 12 moonwalker Alan Bean will show a lucky space fan round his art studio in return for the donation to the ASF of $6,900. His fascinating works are based around his experiences in space, and the paintings sometimes include fragments of space-flown materials.
Of the pieces we mentioned, the photographic canvas signed by 25 Hall of Fame Astronauts sold for $3,050, an Apollo 17 Silver Robbins Medallion brought $2501 and a set of Skylab 4 flown Audio Cassette Tapes belonging to astronaut William Pogue brought $2550.
The Swiss flag, flown to the Moon aboard the Apollo 15 Command Module, from the collection of pilot Al Worden (pictured) achieved an impressive $3,800 - the highest priced lot amongst the take-home items.
The surprise of the auction - though perhaps it shouldn't have been surprising - was an astronaut training flight suit worn by astronaut David Leestma. Leestma spent an impressive amount of time in space as part of the Space Shuttle programme.
Leestma's suit didn't excite a great deal of interest to start with - probably because the particular mission it was associated with was cancelled following the Challenger disaster - but it clocked a final bid of $3,610.
Perhaps someone read our article on the likely impact of closing the Space Shuttle programme on the investment potential of Shuttle-memorabilia...