As we've reported, a coin space-flown by Neil Armstrong is one of the highlights of Regency Superior's upcoming space, stamps and memorabilia sale. The 1916 US $20 St Gaudens gold piece was carried on the historic (and nearly disastrous) Gemini 8 mission.
Vice-President Penney Kols told us, "Our October auction has some really unique and special articles of memorabilia from the early Mercury program through the Shuttle Program. Many of our auctions lots come from lifelong collecting accumulations by several space enthusiasts."
"One great piece is a flown 1916 gold piece that was carried on Neil Armstrong's 1966 Gemini mission for George C. Franklin support engineer for the Gemini 8 crew. Few coins were documented as taken on early missions, and so far as we know, this is the only $20 gold piece to have done so."
The coin is expected to sell for $20,000-$30,000, but it is not the likely top space lot in the auction. That may be expected to be a 1977-84 Soviet 'Orlan-D' Eva Spacesuit.
In reference to 'Russian Spacesuits' by Abramov and Skoog (2003):
"This semi-rigid spacesuit was a modification of the original ORLAN spacesuit (only 11 test/training suits were developed) which was designed to support crew member EVA from the orbiting Moon space vehicle as part of the N1-L3 program.
"The original type ORLAN suit was never used in flight".
The Life Support System (LSS) was of the regenerative type, including exchangeable components.
According to 'Russian Spacesuits', the power supply, radio communication and telemetry were via 20m electric umbilical, which also served as a safety tether. The suit has a further safety tether with a snap hook.
Only 27 test and training models and 7 flight models of the Orlan-D were made. This particular spacesuit is missing its outer cover layer, life support components and gloves. However, it has the advantage of showing the inner components that made the suit function.
There is an engraved 'Orlan-D' on the inside lip of the backpack. Additionally, there is an accompanying green carry bag for this suit. Described as 'museum quality' by the auctioneers, it would be perfect for the finest space memorabilia collections.
Spacesuits, whether or not they're actually worn on space missions, are of course highly coveted amongst space collectors, especially if they have historic significance. They make up a significant part of our Top Five Pieces of Russian Space Memorabilia.
We're extremely proud to be offering one of our own at the moment: a training suit used by Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin himself. The suit, which is also signed by Aldrin, was used in the run-up to both Gemini 12 and Apollo 11.
A genuine piece of history, we're so confident of the suit's ongoing value that we're offering it with our 120% guarantee. That is, the collector who buys it can later return it in exchange for other stock for up to 120% of its price.
Regency Superior's sale takes place on October 14, with the Orlan-D expected to sell for $40,000-50,000.