2013 saw a rise in the quantity of space memorabilia being consigned to auction, due to a landmark piece of US legislation that gave former astronauts and NASA employees the right of ownership to souvenirs they had collected during their careers.
The space agency also announced it had no plans to return to the Moon, effectively capping the market for NASA flown memorabilia - for now.
The launch of China's first Moon rover in 2013 is likely to lead to heightened Chinese interest in space memorabilia in 2014.
Top space and aviation sale of 2013
- A 1929 American Moth Corp Gipsy Moth was the top selling lot of the year, realising $270,000 in February - a record for a Gipsy Moth. The plane appeared in the 1985 film Out of Africa, and was described as "unsurpassed" in terms of its aesthetics.
2013's important space and aviation sales
- A rocket engine used on the experimental X-15 aircraft, which still holds the record for the fastest speed ever achieved for a manned plane, sold for $150,000 in January.
- In March, a set of notes from the near-fatal Apollo 13 mission, detailing commander Jim Lovell's attempts to fix the malfunction aboard the craft, made $84,000.
- April saw the sale of a hand controller used to adjust the altitude of Apollo 15. It was consigned by Al Worden, the pilot of the command module, and realised $72,556.
- A Lunar Module Translation Control Assembly headlined a sale in May, realising $72,151.
- A complete set of miniature bibles flown aboard each of the Apollo missions realised $108,500 in November.
- A flag flown aboard Apollo 11 and previously owned by a NASA employee who worked on the Moon landing sold for $71,875 in November.
It was a breakout year for…
- The US government's ruling that allowed former astronauts and NASA employees ownership of any memorabilia they had collected resulted in the consignment of many of this year's biggest selling items.
It was a year to forget for…
- The thousands of people who bought fake Neil Armstrong autographs this year. A large number of fakes are on the market, as fraudulent sellers attempt to capitalise on the rise in value of Armstrong's autograph. It is crucial to ensure you buy autographs from a reputable dealer - one who offers you a lifetime moneyback guarantee of authenticity.
One you may have missed…
- A toy plane owned by Neil Armstrong during his childhood, confirmed as genuine by his mother, achieved $10,775 in April - proving that collectors of space memorabilia are not immune to whimsy.