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Moon Dust Collected By Neil Armstrong Hits the Auction Block

Perfectly timed to commemorate the Apollo 11 landing on July 20, 1969, the British auction house will hold a live sale featuring various materials from both the American and Soviet space exploration programs. If you have the money you could swing the winning bid for some moon rocks collected by Neil Armstrong himself.LONDON – It might be the most expensive piece of used luggage in history.Moon dust that Neil Armstrong collected during the first lunar landing was displayed Thursday at a NY auction house – a symbol of America’s glory days in space now valued at $2 million to $4 million.Moon dust gathered by late legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first lunar landing will be auctioned off in NY.The bag is expected to fetch between $2 million and $4 million at auction. Though this object is coming to the block from private ownership, almost all other accessories from the American space missions are housed in the U.S. National Collections at the Smithsonian.For years it sat in a box, unidentified, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Hatton said.Somehow the bag ended up in the garage of a Kansas museum manager until it was ceased by U.S. Marshals Service.In 2015, the bag was sold to a Chicago attorney for merely $995. Traces of lunar dust and tiny moon rocks are still embedded in the bag.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.Astronaut Neil Armstrong did something no one had ever done before.Other items on the auction block are Armstrong’s snapshot of fellow Apollo 11 astronaut “Buzz” Aldrin standing on the moon, with an estimated value of $3,000 to $5,000. Perhaps most evocative is the astronauts’ in-flight paperwork – a signed lunar map used by Apollo 8 navigator Jim Lovell when he and two crewmates became the first human beings to orbit the moon; a flight plan, filled with scribbled notes and workarounds, that Lovell and his Apollo 13 crew used 16 months later as they brought their crippled spacecraft back to Earth.The sale at worldwide art auction house Sotheby’s also features the Apollo 13 flight plan annotated by its crew, a spacesuit worn by US astronaut Gus Grissom, and lunar photographs taken by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).