A bag that was used by Neil Armstrong to pick up rocks from the surface of the moon in 1969 will increase public auction in New York on July 20. It must recover 4 million or more.
The bag, which still contains traces of lunar dust is priceless, has been on a wild ride in the last half century – not just to the moon back and forth as part of the Apollo 11 mission that led men for the first time in history Human.
Since returning to Earth, guardians of the old moon bag included a museum president who was convicted of robbery; A woman in Illinois who was lucky enough to stumble into the bag, poorly labeled during an online auction; And the NASA Space Center in Texas, where it was held under lock and key from the United States law firm, fought in a one-year legal battle to transfer the stock to government custody.
It was a disappointing decision for the space agency, which said in a statement that the only artifact in itself “was never meant to belong to an individual.”
The lawyer, Nancy Carlson, now returns to auction at Sotheby’s.
Expectations: $ 4 million could be low, according to Cassandra Hatton, vice president and lead specialist at Sotheby. With “exceptionally rare” space like this, the sky really is the limit, he said.
“This bag is not just the first mission, but it was used by the first man on the moon, and had the first samples collected,” he said. “It’s the first of the first.”
Many other memories of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, including the controller, are on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. However, the bag first slipped into the cracks after being ceded to a Kansas space museum called Cosmosphere, according to a December decision written by J. Thomas Marten of the US District Court in Wichita, Kansas.
Max Ary, who directed the museum, resigned in 2002. After that, it was discovered that certain artifacts, including the missing moon bag.
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The critical error occurred when the bag was delivered to the government. It was identified as a different bag – one that had not been used to collect rocks from the moon – because of “confusion in inventory lists and article numbers,” according to Judge Marten’s decision.
The government has included it in an online auction, and in February 2015, Mrs. Carlson saw it and bought it, not knowing the real value.
The story could have ended if he had not sent the bag to the Johnson Space Center in Houston to verify its authenticity. There, NASA realized what it was: an artifact of incalculable value, even with remnants of lunar dust, which should have been fully protected.
Therefore, NASA has kept the bag. Mrs. Carlson continued to recover.
In its December decision, Judge Marten concluded that the sale comes from an unfortunate accident in which NASA was “the victim”. However, he left the door open for Mrs. Carlson and the trial in federal court in Houston failed in her favor in February.
Ms. Carlson could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Sotheby said she plans to donate proceeds to charities such as the Immunity Foundation and the child’s health center.
The auction house will put the bag to exhibit at a virtual reality conference on June 22 and 23 and July 13 before the auction, which is open to the public. Interested bidders must register in advance.