Our Top Five pieces of space memorabilia

5. Astronaut Jim Lovell's Apollo 13 mission patch - $23,000

The  Beta Cloth Patch was flown with and signed by Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell. Lovell had an exceptional career as an astronaut, flying on the Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8 missions as well.

The cloth is made of the same material found on the outside of space suits (glass fibres coated with Teflon) and signed directly as well as accompanied by a letter of authenticity.

The high regard Lovell is held in and the fame of the near-tragic Apollo 13 mission drove the price to $23,000.

4. A Russian cosmonaut's spacesuit - €43,749

A suit used by cosmonaut Dzhanibekov Aleksandrovich had been valued at €30,000-35,000.

The suit was designed specifically for landing and taking of, during which time pressure variations may be substantial, and the suit is fitted with a carefully engineering pressure gauge to deal with exactly this problem.

Perhaps due to its association with a cosmonaut who had completed several space flights, the suit intrigued bidders who pushed the price past its estimate, and it was taken home for €43,749.

3. A Rolex watch taken to the Moon aboard Apollo 17 - $131,450

The Rolex watch worn by Apollo 17 astronaut Ron Evans has sold for an incredible $131,450 at the Heritage Space Exploration Auction.

During the mission, Evans placed it in his Personal Preference Kit (PPK) which was taken to the Moon's surface by his crewmates, while Evans piloted the command module in orbit above.

The watch was on the Moon's surface for 72 hours during what would turn out to be man's last ever manned Moon expedition, to-date.

2. The Falcon lunar module's Attitude Control joystick from Apollo 15 - £206,000

One of the most expensive pieces of space shuttle memorabilia is an actual piece of flight control equipment used to control Apollo 15's landing. It was sold at Bonhams in an 11 x 9½ by five inches wooden case.

The joystick was used to activate the four sets of four 100-pound Marquardt rocket engines (see item five on our list); working with the semi-automatic onboard computers' steering calculations and engine thrust-on commands.

On the Moon's surface inside Falcon for over 66 hours, this unique and critical device was a highlight at Bonhams successful July space sale, selling for over £200,000.

1. Apollo 11 lunar surface navigational chart - $218,000

The navigational chart used by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to determine their exact position on the lunar surface just after their historic lunar landing was one of the major sales at Bonham's Space Sale, in New York, on July 16, 2009.

One of the few flight devices returned from the lunar surface to be available on the market, the chart was a major auction highlight in a great year for space memorabilia, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the momentous Apollo 11 moon landing.

The chart is signed by Buzz Aldrin, and its sale also included a typed and signed letter from the second man to set foot on the lunar surface. "This star chart was the single most critical navigational device we used while on the Moon," wrote Aldrin.

It sold for an incredible $218,000, including buyer's premium. 

 


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