The long-lost bag used by US astronaut Neil Armstrong to bring back to Earth the first samples of moon dust is expected to sell for up to $4 million when it is auctioned with other space memorabilia next week in New York City. After being lost for years and having been passed from one auction to another, Neil Armstrong's moon dust bag is valued at $2 million to $4 million. She was born unable to use her hind legs and needed lots of loving care.
Moon dust gathered by late legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first lunar landing will be auctioned off in NY. It was reportedly misidentified and merely sat in a box at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
In this July 20, 1969 file photo, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, right, trudges across the surface of the moon leaving behind footprints.
Though most of the other artifacts and equipment from the Apollo 11 mission are kept in the U.S. National Collections at the Smithsonian, a court ruling had recently allowed the bag to be the only piece of Apollo 11's artifacts to be kept by private persons.
When the collector was later convicted of theft, fraud and money laundering, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the box from his garage to auction it off for restitution along with other assets.
The bag itself popped up in a seized asset auction around two years ago, and was sent into NASA by the unidentified owner for testing.
In 2015, the bag was sold to a Chicago attorney for merely $995.
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During the mission, Armstrong collected almost 500 grams of material and 12 rock fragments from a part of the lunar surface known as the Sea of Tranquility.
Lunar module pilot Fred Haise, who took part in the Apollo 13 mission in 1970, attended the reception for the sale and gave remarks on his own time in space.
Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon.
The late astronaut brought the dust and some rocks back to Earth in an ordinary-looking bag.
Also on the block, is a documented flight plan that astronauts used to return to Earth. Sotheby's says this was the official English-language report prepared for submission to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and signed by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and the chief engineers of the Soviet space programme.
Sotheby's is kicking off its Space Exploration auction on July 20, and this item will surely become the star of the event.