Buzz Aldrin’s moon-flown Apollo 11 jacket sells for record $2.8 million at Sotheby’s

July 26, 2022

— A jacket worn to the moon by astronaut Excitement Aldrin established a new report for the most-at any time paid out at auction for a flown-in-place artifact, when Aldrin’s pen credited with saving the Apollo 11 mission failed to market.

The bidding for Aldrin’s inflight coverall jacket opened at $500,000 at Sotheby’s in New York on Tuesday (July 26). One particular of 70 heaps being presented from the 92-12 months-previous moonwalker’s collection, the glass-woven (Beta fabric) jacket was donned by Aldrin when he wasn’t wearing his Apollo 11 spacesuit on the way to and from the moon 53 yrs in the past this month.

“This is Buzz Aldrin’s jacket from Apollo 11. It is not likely to come about all over again,” mentioned Quig Bruning, Sotheby’s head of jewels for the Americas and the auctioneer for Tuesday’s “Excitement Aldrin: American Icon” sale, as the bids for the jacket crossed the $1 million mark.

A couple minutes afterwards, Bruning dropped the hammer at $2,250,000. With Sotheby’s premiums included, the jacket was marketed to an unnamed buyer bidding by cellular phone for $2,772,500.

“And that is a globe report for any room flown artifact,” said Bruning.

The preceding history was set in 2019 by the $2,055,000 paid for a gold medallion flown by Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong to the area of the moon. The “Robbins” medallion, named for the mint that struck it, was one particular of only three gold medallions flown on the mission.

Aldrin’s jacket was also one of 3 flown on Apollo 11. The jackets worn by Armstrong and command module pilot Michael Collins are in the Smithsonian, as is a coaching jacket sized for Aldrin. According to letter of provenance involved with the whole lot, Aldrin’s flown jacket has been portion of his “non-public collection due to the fact we returned dwelling from the moon on July 24, 1969.”

A legislation passed in 2012 verified that Apollo-era astronauts’ retain the rights to the mission-flown machines they saved as mementos from their spaceflights.

Sotheby’s estimated prior to the auction that Aldrin’s jacket would provide for $1 million to $2 million, the same appraisal as one more good deal giving a pen that was described as obtaining saved the Apollo 11 mission.

In a bit of ingenuity, Aldrin utilised the Duro-brand felt-idea marker to near a circuit breaker in get to arm the lunar module’s ascent engine, devoid of these Aldrin and Armstrong could have been stranded on the moon. The ton also involved the nib from the exact same breaker that Aldrin unintentionally broke off though suiting up to stroll on the moon.

Again the good deal opened at $500,000, but the bidding only reached $650,000 in advance of dropping off.

“Honest warning, hammer’s up, so last chance at the circuit breaker that broke and the pen that introduced them property at $650,000,” claimed Bruning.

Failing to attain its pre-set reserve, the ton went unsold. It was the only product in the sale that did not provide.

Quite a few of the other flown artifacts made available by Sotheby’s had been paper paperwork — flight options and checklists that had been employed aboard Aldrin’s Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 missions. A comprehensive flight system flown to the moon offered for $819,000, whilst a lunar module techniques activation checklist that landed on the moon introduced in $567,000.

A Whirlpool-designed drinking water dispenser applied by Aldrin and Armstrong to rehydrate their freeze-dried meals and which could have been applied to put out any fires on the lunar module sold for $327,600.

“[That] have to be a globe document value for a fire extinguisher,” Bruning explained.

A “Go Army, Beat Navy” banner, which Aldrin held up during a 1966 spacewalk and which Sotheby’s discovered as a pre-auction emphasize, sold for $27,720.

An additional product singled out just before the sale, Aldrin’s MTV Video Tunes Awards (VMA) “Moonman” statuette exceeded its $7,000 to $10,000 estimate, promoting at $88.200.

In total, Sotheby’s “Excitement Aldrin: American Icon” auction commanded $8,184,578.

“We are really happy to announce that his sale has now reset the earth document for the most important space exploration sale at any time held, which was earlier established in this article on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 [in 2019],” stated Bruning. “So congratulations.”

Kenneth Proto

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