By Josh Saunders
Space flown items, spacecraft fittings, rare signed memorabilia and more could sell for up to a million dollars in an out of this world auction.
The exclusive pieces from mankind’s journeys to the moon, space training, rare artwork, autographed items and collectors pieces, will end at 8pm UK tomorrow (FRI – 2pm US Central Time) with Heritage Auctions.
There are over in 561 items up for grabs ranging from a piece of fabric that could have influenced Buzz Aldrin to NASA rocket engines, key historical pieces that made it to space and others.
Famous painter Alan Bean’s original 1983 piece ‘Mother earth’ that shows the unforgettable view of the ‘blue planet’ from space also holds the estimate of $75,000 (55.3kGBP).
This is the first time the art piece has come up for auction after remaining in a personal family collection.
The largest American flag from Apollo 11’s pivotal first landing that has ever been up for grabs and was signed by all crew members has an estimate for $75,000 (55.3kGBP).
Michael Riley, 64, Director of Space Exploration at Heritage Auctions, said: “I really couldn’t find any other that had been auctioned at this size, it’s a really exciting item with the crew signatures and it’s an unusually large flag.
“We don’t see many of these flags and have never seen a larger flag, it’s a special piece, I’m jealous of whoever ends up with it.”
A 14K Gold Robbins Medallion from the collection of astronaut Jack Swigert that flew on the Apollo 13 mission could fetch $60,000 (44.2kGBP).
Certified by his sister Virginia, it was aboard the journey where Swigert famous reported, ‘Houston we’ve had a problem.’
Michael said: “Of all the medallions, the ultimate of any is the Robbins Medallions, which were taken on the missions.
“To own one of those very few collections that has a Gold Robbins medal in it, it’s such a beautiful medal with those three horses, the Apollo Steeds, they are gorgeous medals.”
Other pieces including one of the first few produced NASA Apollo three seat crew couch, whose designs would be used in spacecraft could sell for $12,000 (8.8kGBP).
Michael said: “I don’t know if one of these seats have ever been offered, it was purchased decades ago from NASA and kept in storage all these years.
“It’s large and bulky but my goodness it’s cool, so many people have been asking questions about it and bidding is already at $8,500 I’m sure it will go much higher.
“They are heavy, sophisticated and would look so good in someone’s space display, office or elsewhere.
“It was most likely used in training but is identical to the seats that did fly, these didn’t but were a couple of the first ones made.
“It was never flown, all the ones that did are with the modules in museums across the country.”
A piece of original wright fabric gifted from the first plane to ever fly to the father of Buzz Aldrin, Edwin, could sell for over $12,000 (8.8kGBP).
It’s believed the piece could have hung on the wall, in eyeshot of the future astronaut and influenced him to want to soar above the skies.
Michael said: “There are so many interesting and different kinds of items, I like the piece of original flyer fabric, from the first plane to fly that. It was originally presented to Buzz Aldrin’s father.
“We have sold these presentations before for between $8,000-$10,000 but having the association with Buzz’s father make this a lot higher.
“I kind of speculate this being on his dad’s wall for all the years while he was growing up, wondering if he looked up at it and thought I want to fly.”
A signed edition of The New York Times from the first moon-landing of July 21, 1969, autographed by astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins could sell for $5,000 (3.6kGBP).
Michael said: “It has got a lot of views, The New York Times is such a famous newspaper, with the headline ‘Men Walk On Moon’, this makes it perfect for a display piece.
“I could see it ending up on someone’s wall, it looks great with all the signatures on it and I think it will do very well.”
An original rocket engine made for NASA could fetch for $35,000 (25.8kGBP) and a NASA award pin featuring cartoon character Snoopy that was flown on two missions for $5,000 (3.6kGBP).
Michael said: “The Sliver Snoopy Award that flew on Apollo 9 and 15, it’s a one of a kind item, Dave Scott, who was on both missions.
“Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon was a big fan of the space programme in the early days of Apollo and lent the Snoopy image to the flight awareness programme at NASA.
“Apollo 10s nickname of the crafts were Snoopy and Charlie Brown, he was an emblem of NASA’s internal programme to get people to do their best work.”
There are 561 pieces up for grabs in the Heritage Auctions Space Exploration Signature Auction, with bidding ending tomorrow (FRI) at 8pm UK tomorrow (FRI – 2pm US Central Time).
Michael believes the lots appeal to all ages, from those initially witnessing the first ever landing to those intrigued by future space flights and developments.
Michael said: “We have interest from the older generation who lived through the first time and newer people getting interested because of SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy Launch.
“They initially flew to the moon with such little technology, it’s fascinating that these men achieved this.
“They were heroes, explorers and people to look up to, so to own something that they signed, owned in their collections or was on the moon is so appealing to a lot of people.
“We have got some great and varied pieces from a flag that flew to the moon, envelopes, we have signed images, and even a couple of Snoopy pins that flew too.
“There are so many great pieces and I want to emphasize all the autographs have been checked by multiple experts very carefully.”
For more information or to bid visit: www.ha.com
SOME OF THE SPACE MEMORABILIA FROM THE POTENTIAL MILLION DOLLAR AUCTION
• Apollo 11 Flown Large Size American Flag on a Crew-Signed Presentation Certificate
• Kitty Hawk: Piece of Original Wright Flyer Fabric On a Presentation Certificate to Edwin E. Aldrin Sr.
• NASA Apollo Three Seat Crew Couch
• Apollo 11 Crew-Signed The New York Times Front Page Dated July 21, 1969
• Apollo Lunar Module Reaction Control System Marquardt R-4D Rocket Engine
• Legendary Aviation Pioneer and Boeing Test Pilot Clayton Scott: His Personal Leather Flight Helmet, Goggles
• Apollo 13 Flown Gold Robbins Medallion Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert
• I.S.S. Expeditions 1 through 45: Complete Collection of Unflown Silver Robbins Medals
• Alan Bean Original 1983 Painting “Mother Earth,” Acrylic on Masonite, Museum Framed
• Apollo 11: Grumman Internal “LM5 Turnover Log” from the Spacecraft and Ground Support Equipment Team at KSC, Log Entries from April 16 to Launch
• Apollo 12 Lunar Module Flown Largest Size American Flag on a Presentation Mat Signed by Richard Gordon, Directly from the Family Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Richard Gordon
• Gemini 9 – Gemini 12 Flown Fliteline Medallions on Silver Bracelet Originally from the Personal Collection of Astronaut Paul J. Weitz, with Handwritten COA
• Apollo 11 Crew-Signed “First Man on the Moon” First Day Cover
• Apollo 15 Flown 14K Gold Mission Insignia Medallion Presented by Dave Scott, with Original Certificate of Authenticity
• Apollo 17: Original NASA 70mm Transparency Reel containing all 947 Photos from Magazines A, B, C, D, E, and F (Complete)
• Moonfire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 Limited Edition Book in Original Case with Signed and Numbered Framed Photo of Buzz Aldrin, Both Originally from His Personal Collection
• Apollo 11 Crew-Signed Lunar Surface Color Photo
• Apollo 9 and Apollo 15 Flown Silver Snoopy Pin Originally from the Collection of Dave Scott, with Signed Letter of Certification
• Apollo 11 Flown Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 405, Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, with Signed LOA
• Apollo A6L Spacesuit: ILC’s First Test Sample of the Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment Trousers, Manufactured June 20, 1966