Anticipation has been high among collectors and investors with a passion for space memorabilia in the run-up to Bonhams' Space History Sale.
The auction will take place today in Madison Avenue, New York, later today (April 13).
Key items in the sale include signed notes and instructions flown to the Moon abroad Apollo 11 and Apollo 13, and lunar pilot Michael Collins' Apollo 11 emblem.
The latter was not only flown to the Moon, but also bears the signatures of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin alongside that of Collins himself.
Also appearing in the sale is a "flown" (meaning that it has been into space) piece of Apollo 11 lunar surface equipment, still speckled with lunar dust.
Constructed from two plates of aluminum, 2¼ by 1¾ inches, this Data File Clip enabled Armstrong and Aldrin to grip their flight equipment during their dangerous mission. A one-inch square velcro patch is attached above the etched part number which reads: "P/N SEB32100094-301."
It will auction with a typed verification card signed by Buzz Aldrin and a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-40,000.
Also highlighting the sale is a United Stages flag carried aboard Apollo 11. "This flag travelled to the Moon with Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing, July 20, 1969," reads the accompanying NASA certificate. It carries an estimate of $20,000-30,000.
There will be high hopes for Bonhams' Space History Sale after the blockbuster success of its debut space auction, in July of last year.
Star lots at Bonhams' July 2009 space sale - timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 - included a navigational chart used by Armstrong and Aldrin to determine their exact position on the lunar surface.
Still covered in lunar dust, the Moon chart sold for an incredible $218,000.
Elsewhere on the collectors' market, the training worn and signed by Buzz Aldrin, aka the Second Man on the Moon is for sale, along with memorabilia signed by each of the Apollo 11 crew.
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