$1,000 NASA Bag laced with moon dust sells for $1.8 million

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
July 21, 2017News
$1,000 NASA Bag laced with moon dust sells for $1.8 million
Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin poses next to the U.S. flag on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. (NASA/Liaison)

A lucky collector who bought a bag from the Apollo 11 mission for $995 at a government auction sold it for $1.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction on Thursday.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong used the bag during the 1969 moon mission. The buyer declined to be identified. Sotheby’s estimated the item would be sold for $2-$4 million as part of its auction of space-related items.

The bag was originally misidentified and sold to Nancy Carlson as part of a government auction in 2015, the Associated Press reported. The collector wondered which space mission the bag belonged to and sent it to NASA to be identified. Upon realizing that the bag has been on the moon, NASA refused to send it back to Carlson, triggering a court battle.

NASA claimed that the bag “belongs to the American people” at the time. But Judge J. Thomas Marten, in Wichita, Kansas, ordered NASA to return the bag, saying that although it should not have gone up for sale, he did not have the authority to reverse the transaction.

Among other space artifacts sold at the auction was a photo of Buzz Aldrin taken on the moon by Neil Armstrong.

Nine bidders battled to get their hands on the Apollo 13 flight plan. The winner paid $275,000—more than six times the pre-auction estimate.

Meanwhile, the first ever photo of the moon fetched $17,500.

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