• Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

First moon dust sample collected by Neil Armstrong on sale for nearly £1million – Reuters

ByRandall B. Phelps

Mar 27, 2022

The moon dust was collected by Neil Armstrong during the historic 1969 moon landing and placed in a decontamination bag before, back on Earth, it was lost – later found in a museum in space in Kansas.

First photograph of a man standing on the surface of another world, Apollo 11 in July 1969

The first moondust sample ever collected is on sale for nearly £1million, more than 1,400 times what was originally paid.

Picked up by Neil Armstrong during the historic 1969 moon landing, he placed it in a decontamination bag and it was brought back to Earth and delivered to NASA.

The bag – thought to be empty – was later lost and found in a space museum in Kansas.

It was on display until it was stolen by curator Max Ary.

It was discovered in his garage in 2003 along with other space artifacts and he was imprisoned for fraud, theft and money laundering.







Astronaut Neil Armstrong, commander of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in 1969
(

Picture:

Getty Images)


U.S. Marshals officials unwittingly auctioned off the bag in 2015 to raise funds, not realizing the interior contained traces of valuable moondust.

Bought by lawyer Nancy Carlson for around £700, she sent the bag back to NASA for verification.

But upon discovering that it contained moon dust from the Apollo 11 mission, NASA refused to return it.







The first lunar dust sample ever collected by humans
(

Picture:

Bonhams/BNPS)


After a two-year legal battle, the space agency was forced to return it with moon dust, which it had concentrated on a 1cm-wide strip of carbon placed in five aluminum samples.

The dust is now set to sell at Bonhams auctioneers in New York for more than 1,400 times what it was bought seven years ago.

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Adam Stackhouse, specialist at Bonhams, said: “This is the only time in history that a verified sample from the Apollo mission has been auctioned off.

“This is a rare relic marking the pinnacle of human achievement.”

Ms Carlson sold the bag privately for £1.4million in 2017, but this is the first time the dust has hit the public market.

The aluminum heels, which can be seen under a microscope, will go on sale on April 13 with a pre-sale estimate of between £600,000 and £900,000.

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