Fans of space travel will get a rare chance to own unique items from various space missions in an upcoming auction in New York. Over 300 artifacts will be up for grabs, including Russian and American space suits and a variety of space travel equipment.
"Bonhams Space History sale on April 8 will feature nearly 300 fascinating artifacts related to decades of international space exploration, including genuine spacesuits, critical flight items from the famed Apollo 11 mission, lunar-flown American flags, rare photographs and astronauts' personal effects," says Bonhams in a press release.
The items up for auction come from the entire gamut of space history, including an item from the first American manned mission to space and various Apollo missions. Some of the most notable items in the auction come from the historic Apollo 11 mission, which marked the first time man set foot on the Moon. Apollo 11 items include Buzz Aldrin's checklist that was written when Aldrin was on the Moon. The sheet contained Aldrin's notes on certain pieces of data that were essential to getting the Apollo 11 crew back to Earth. An item from Project Mercury is also expected to turn heads.
"One of the more fascinating pieces in the sale is a spacesuit from the United States' first manned flight program, Project Mercury (est. $8,000-12,000)," Bonhams adds. "Conducted between 1959 and 1963, Project Mercury aimed to put a human being into orbit around the earth."
An auction focusing on space history will not be complete without a Russian item. The space race was one of the more productive side effects of the Cold War between Soviet Russia and the U.S. and even after the USSR collapsed, the Russian Federation remains one of the most capable space faring nations in the world.
"In addition to the iconic Project Mercury suit, Bonhams will offer a Russian Strizh spacesuit, designed to protect cosmonauts from ejection at altitudes up to 30 kilometers and speeds up to Mach 3 (est. $15,000-20,000)," says Bonhams. "This rare example is one of only 27 created for test and training purposes between 1981-1991, many of which were damaged or destroyed. A NASA A6L prototype spacesuit will also be offered (est. $8,000-12,000)."
A number of American flags will also be sold off. However, these are very special flags because they are part of a very small collection of items that have gone to the Moon and back. In order to save valuable cargo space, Astronauts would often leave equipment on the Moon to make room for lunar soil and rock samples. However, these American flags served a somewhat different purpose and were specially carried to and from the Moon by Buzz Aldrin and Fred Haise.
"Lunar-flown American flags are certain to attract attention. Highlights include a silk American flag carried to the moon by Buzz Aldrin on the Apollo 11 mission (est. $20,000-30,000), as well as a stars and stripes carried by Fred Haise on the infamous Apollo 13 mission (est. $15,000-20,000)," says Bonhams. "Haise intended to take the flag to the lunar surface, but the landing was scrubbed when an oxygen tank exploded causing a major electrical outage in the command and service modules."
The items for auction have been open for previews since April 4 and the auction will take place this April 8 at the Bonhams auction house in New York.