Space Magna Carta offered by Bonhams for $100,000

Bonhams has announced the star lots in its March 25 Space History Sale in New York, with a document nicknamed the Space Magna Carta expecting to see the top bids.

Space Magna Carta auction
The space race had effectively ended when NASA put Neil Armstrong on the Moon in 1969, but this 1975 document sealed the deal

The document, estimated at $60,000-100,000, originates from 1975 and marks the symbolic end of the space race. It was signed in space by both USSR and US astronauts as their respective spacecrafts - the Apollo and Soyuz - completed the first successful docking between the two nations in orbit.

One of only four copies, it bears the signatures of Tom Stafford, Deke Slayton, Vance Brand, Valerie Kubasov and Alexei Leonov. It reads: "the flight crews... share the hope that this first International Manned Space Flight will stand in the light of history as a significant advance in the ability of their nations to work together in ways that advance the interests of people everywhere."

News of the sale follows the announcement of plans for a manned mission to Mars in 2018 led by millionaire Dennis Tito, which is likely to bring renewed interest to the space memorabilia market. At the very least, Tito's plans show the continuing fascination with space that drives the market for artefacts of this kind.

Also starring in the sale will be a two-page entry from the Apollo 11 logbook, which is expected to make $70,000-90,000. Taken from the Primary Guidance and Navigation Section (PGNS), the pages describe computer procedures for lift-off, allowing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to leave the Moon and return to Earth.

In November 2012, a lunar dust-covered cuff checklist from the Apollo 15 mission sold at auction for $303,710, making a 21.4% increase on its $250,000 high estimate and spelling strong results for the present lot.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a remarkable selection of space memorabilia for sale, including a complete set of signed photos from every US astronaut to have set foot on the Moon.

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