Neil Armstrong sample bag sets new auction record

A canvas bag Neil Armstrong used to collect rock samples from the lunar surface has realised $1.8m in Sotheby’s inaugural space memorabilia auction.

The lot still contains dust and small pieces of debris.

Apollo 11 bag

The bag was used to collect samples of Moon rock 

It set a new record for a piece of NASA memorabilia, edging out the previous high mark of $1.6m, set in 2015 for the Bulova wristwatch astronaut David Scott wore on the Apollo 15 mission.

The consignor of the bag picked it up at a government auction in 2015 for the grand total of $995.

It soon emerged the bag had been sold by accident and NASA wanted it back.

However, a judge ruled in the buyer's favour. She will presumably be delighted with this result, which equates to a frankly startling increase of 182,060% on the price she paid.

Cassandra Hatton, vice-president at Sotheby’s, said: “This seemingly modest bag was part of mankind’s greatest journey, and played a crucial role in the single most important scientific task of the Apollo 11 mission – to bring back the very first sample of lunar material ever collected.

“To be able to see such an object in person is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“It is one thing to read about going to the moon; it is quite another to hold in one’s hands an object that was actually there, and that still carries traces of that faraway place.”

Check out this stunning Neil Armstrong signature we have for sale.

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