In Brief
NASA put on auction today memorabilia from its Apollo moon-landing missions that's worth millions of dollars in total. The collection, which includes the iconic image of Buzz Aldrin's moonwalk taken by Neil Armstrong, is available on eBay starting today.

In the market for a helium tank from an Apollo-era spacecraft? How about a bag to collect lunar soil samples? Or an authentic training checklist for launching to the moon?

Welcome to the spectacle that is Sotheby’s first “Space Exploration” live auction, which is being hosted on eBay.

The event kicks off at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 20 — the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It features 173 lots of space artifacts and memorabilia, which are collectively worth between an estimated $2.9 million and $5.3 million.

Some sellers hope to fetch a premium on rare toys and signed photographs from the Space Race, while others are hawking near-priceless artifacts that could fetch millions of dollars.

One lot that may garner $4 million alone: a dusty bag that Apollo 11 astronauts dumped the first samples of lunar soil, grit, and rocks into in 1969. (The bag was “lost” for decades until the US Marshals Service confiscated it during a raid and later auctioned off — for $995.)

NASA and other groups (including “For All Moon Kind“) admonish the sale of such one-of-a-kind spaceflight objects. “This artifact, we believe, belongs to the American people and should be on display for the public,” NASA said in a statement shortly after a court granted the buyer ownership of the bag.

That said, here are some of the more notable items in Sotheby’s and eBay’s live auction and how much they might sell for.

Apollo 11 Contingency Lunar Sample Return Bag

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Used by Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11 to bring back the very first pieces of the moon ever collected — traces of which remain in the bag. The only such relic available for private ownership.

Estimate: $2 million – $4 million

Gemini G1c spacesuit thermal coverlayer

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Thermal coverlayer for the Gemini G1C spacesuit, made for Gus Grissom by the David Clark Company, circa 1962.

Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000

Apollo 13 flown flight plan, with drawings by astronauts

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBayMillions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

A book that contains the entire Apollo 13 flight plan, including sketches and notations by astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise.

Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000

Apollo command module reaction-control system propellant tank

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

A 39.5-inch-diameter empty, ellipsoidal-shaped tank crafted from two joined titanium alloy hemispheres. Manufactured by Sargent Industries for NASA, ca. 1970. Red identifying labels, as well as one paper label.

Estimate: $2,500 – $3,500

Apollo lion brothers crew mission emblems

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Cloth crew mission emblems, 12 total with sizes from 3 ½ to 5 inches in diameter. Embroidered by Lion Brothers of Owens Mills, Maryland beginning in 1967.

Estimate: $1,200 – $1,800

Aldrin with the stars and stripes

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Color photograph, 8 by 10 inches. Signed by Buzz Aldrin with his inscription of “LMP” added.

Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500

Russian Isayev rocket engine

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Unfired V-751 liquid propellant sustainer powerplant, approximately 39-by-14-by-14 inches, constructed from various alloys. Numerous inspection marks, primarily in red. Mounted onto black metal stand, apparently unfired. Russia, circa 1957. Designed by the Design Bureau of Russian rocket engineer Alexei Isayev.

Estimate: $6,000 – $9,000

Vostok-1 spacecraft model

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Large 1:8 scale manufacturer’s project presentation model by NPO Energia.

Estimate: $10,000 – $12,000

Space shuttle orbiter computer processor

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

One of the earliest production models with serial number 04.

Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000

NASA Apollo 11 press release photograph collection

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Contains 10 photos, with four signed by Buzz Aldrin.

Estimate: $2,500 – $3,500

Mascot of the Apollo 10 lunar module crew, signed

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Snoopy Astronaut doll, produced in China by Determined Distributions of San Francisco for United Feature Syndicate, 1969. Plastic and fabric, 10 inches tall. With the original display box.

Estimate: $2,000 – $3,000

Records file on the first flight by USSR citizen cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Made on spaceship-Sputnik “Vostok,” April 12, 1961. The official English-language governmental report of one of the greatest moments in human history — signed by Gagarin and others.

Estimate: $50,000 – $80,000

Kennedy Space Center Apollo Saturn launch viewing badges

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Issued to flight support personnel, VIPs, guests, and the press corps.

Estimate: $1,200 – $1,800

Flown Apollo 11 flight plan sheet

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

One of the few sheets describing crew activities while on the moon. Originally from the collection of Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin.

Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Flown Apollo 9 altimeter cover

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

From the collection of Peter Fadis. Command module altimeter cover, aluminum, 2.5 inches in diameter, original velcro square to recto, assembly part number “SEB 33100063-302”, serial number “1006.”

Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000

Buzz Aldrin at Tranquility Base

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

The Apollo program’s most iconic image. Large color photograph taken by Neil Armstrong of Buzz Aldrin during their Apollo 11 moonwalk. Signed and inscribed by Buzz Aldrin.

Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000

Flown Apollo 11 command module skin fragment

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Originally from the collection of Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. An approximately 0.5-by-0.5-inch foil segment mounted on a 3-by-8 inch typed note signed by Buzz Aldrin. This foil material served as the thermal protection layer on the very outer surface of command module “Columbia”. It was exposed to the vacuum of space for some 195 hours, including almost 60 hours in lunar orbit, and traveled over 500,000 miles.

Estimate: $1,500 – $2,000

Apollo 11 – Step-by-step plans for surface exploration

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

Includes the procedure to collect the first lunar soil sample.

Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000

Flown to the moon on Apollo 11: Command module pilot Michael Collins’ crew-signed Apollo 11 emblem

Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Apollo Moon-Landing Gear is Up for Auction on eBay
Sotheby’s

From the collection of Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins. One of the very flew flown Apollo 11 mission artifacts to be signed by Neil Armstrong.

Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000

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