Short-changed by 'Apollo 18'? Don't worry, space memorabilia is a money-maker

We at Paul Fraser Collectibles love anything to do with space and men on the moon . . . but the upcoming 'Apollo 18' film is perhaps a stretch too far, even for us!  Composed of 'found footage' from a cancelled Apollo mission, the film - which only started production in November 2010 - follows in the footsteps of the success of movies like 'Paranormal Activity'. 

The 'fake-umentary' explores why NASA opted not to return to the moon: with some 'terrifying' conclusions.  We won't ruin the film for you, but you might want to check out the recently released trailer below. 


What we will do is have a look at some of the more realistic artifacts from the late-era Apollo missions.  NASA had in fact planned three more moon landings to follow the success of Apollo 17 - but they were cancelled, supposedly due to lack of funding and scheduling issues.

However, an unofficial Apollo 18 mission did in fact take place - and no, not the one in the film!  In 1975, the US and Soviet Union launched their first joint manned space flight, named the Apollo-Suyez Test Project. 

This was, in fact, the last Apollo mission to take place.  The mission represented a unique turning point in the history of space exploration.  It marked the end of the 'space race' and the continuing thaw in Cold War tensions. 

It is also fascinating to space memorabilia collectors.  For example, this Sokol K spacesuit worn by Russian astronaut Alexei Leonov on the Apollo-Suyez mission is set to be auctioned by Bonhams in May, with an estimate of $100,000-150,000.

Other late-era 'official' Apollo memorabilia is also highly sought after - despite often being overshadowed by the early moon landings.  Apollo 17 - the last moon landing - was highly successful, breaking records for longest time in lunar orbit and the longest total lunar surface extravehicular activity.  You can read more about Apollo 17 and its legacy here.

Its importance has impacted on the collectors market.  A lunar surface map covered in lunar dust and signed by 'last man on the moon' Gene Cernan, was sold by RR Auction for $27,815, as we reported in January.  Cernan's lunar training boot was bought for $21,510 at a Heritage auction in November 2010.  The same month, a US flag carried to the moon was sold for just under $2,000.

So, if you are a fan of all things space-related and the rather questionable 'Apollo 18' leaves you a little cold, the collectors' markets offer plenty of memorabilia and Apollo artifacts which really have been to the moon. 


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