Astronaut Scholarship Fund auction stars $16,100 MIR space suit

A space suit worn by NASA astronaut John Blaha while on the Russian MIR Space Station has sold for $16,100 at an Astronaut Scholarship Fund auction which finished on March 17.

It is one of two suits worn by Blaha during his four-month sojourn on the space station, between 1996 and 1997.

Blaha wore the Russian Federal Space Agency zero gravity space suit for special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.

It bears an American flag on one sleeve and a Russian one on the other, while MIR and NASA patches adorn both breast pockets.

The suit, which has a range of zipped pockets all the way down its length, is lined with weights in various places. This encouraged astronauts to use muscles which would otherwise get little exercise during the trip, and made a significant difference to bone density by the time they returned to Earth.

John Blaha flown Russian Mir space station suit
Blaha’s space suit sold for $16,100 at the Astronaut Scholarship Fund auction

Collectors on the look-out for space suits may be interested to know that Paul Fraser Collectibles has a training suit worn and signed by Buzz Aldrin currently available for sale.

The Astronaut Scholarship Fund auction also featured a multi-signed "Earthrise" canvas. The iconic image shows the Earth "rising" as seen from the Moon's surface.

The 30 by 24-inch canvas included 23 astronaut signatures and sold for $2,850.

Meanwhile, an Apollo 15 lunar index map, signed by 14 astronauts, achieved $3,600, while a photograph of a Mercury 7 NASA press conference, signed by three astronauts, made $2,100.

And lastly, one delighted bidder bought dinner with Buzz Aldrin for $4,200.

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