Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 objects sold at auction by Sotheby’s
At 92, Buzz Aldrin has lived a full life. He graduated third in his class from the US Military Academy, earned a doctorate in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined NASA at age 33. Barely three years into his career with the space agency, he conducted his first mission. -the last of a dozen in the American Gemini series.
The famous lunar landing mission, Apollo 11, took place three years later in July 1969. In total, Aldrin spent 12 days in space, 2.25 hours on the moon and countless periods of time in flying fighter jets in the Korean War before retiring. NASA and the US Air Force in the 1970s. His work in the upper parts of the Earth’s atmosphere and orbit earned him a lifetime of fame and now, an exhibit at a Sotheby’s auction. On July 26, several of Aldrin’s personal memorabilia will be auctioned off at York Galleries in New York, some of which can only be “legally owned if acquired from an astronaut,” the fine arts society said. . (Also on sale the same week: a nearly intact Gorgosaurus fossil and a real piece of the moon.)
[Related: The history of science is up for sale]
Some of Aldrin’s items, including a Congressional Gold Medal and a molded communications earpiece, will come with an NFT “digital signature” produced using the Ethereum blockchain platform. Blockchain transactions are known to be energy-intensive and detrimental to the environment as a whole.
Winning bids are expected to range from tens of thousands to millions for each collectible. Take a look at five of the Apollo 11-related flights below and learn about their significance to Aldrin’s life and American space history as a whole.
Item captions adapted from Sotheby’s descriptions.
Apollo 11 jacket
Estimated winning bid: $1-2 million
Among the outstanding artifacts on offer in the collection is Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 flight suit jacket, serial number 1039, which he wore on the historic mission to the moon and back. The jacket is the only Apollo 11 flight garment available for private ownership; Armstrong’s and Collins’ flight suit jackets are housed at the Smithsonian, along with the A7L pressure suits of all three crew members. The practical elements of the jacket are clearly visible, including the reinforced holes in the upper torso through which medical connections could pass. Buzz’s name “E. Aldrin” is also clearly printed above the Apollo 11 mission emblem with an emblazoned United States flag on the left shoulder, on the right lapel is the famous “dumplings” logo of meat” from NASA.
Until the tragic Apollo 1 fire in 1967, spacesuits and flight gear were made from highly flammable materials, such as nylon. The fire triggered a review of the flight suit and clothing design, which resulted in changes including the development of a new flame retardant material known as Beta Cloth, a new technology that was both fire resistant and strong enough to help protect astronauts. micrometeroid explosions outside the spacecraft.
Apollo 11 flight documents
Estimated winning bid: $150,000 to $200,000
The documents stolen from the Apollo 11 mission are incredibly rare, and those stolen and used on the lunar surface even more so. It could be argued that the Apollo 11 LM Systems Activation Checklist is the rarest of them all, as it was never intended to return to Earth. It contains many handwritten notations made by Aldrin while on the lunar surface, and has a “Jettison” label pasted on the cover. Because the lunar module had limited fuel, the crew was instructed to jettison all non-essential items to lighten the load, placing them in a special bag which was then dumped on the lunar surface. Aldrin instead chose to keep this book, which turned out to be an incredibly rich source of previously unknown information about the mission, including additional items that were transferred from the command module to the lunar module prior to descent (snacks, fabrics and molded earpiece offered in this sale), as well as numerous notes on the state of the lunar module following their descent.
The checklist contains a wealth of detailed information revealing how Aldrin and Armstrong pressurized the lunar module, opened the tunnel hatch for inspection, and examined the edge of the tunnel to check the alignment between it and the command module. There are also circuit breaker diagrams, sections for writing navigation data and recordings of oxygen tank pressure, stored battery voltage, and communication tests between Mission Control and the command and control module. service.
Mission Saving Pen
Estimated winning bid: $1-2 million
This unassuming pen became a vital resource for Apollo 11 astronauts when the critical ascent motor arming switch required for the lunar module to ascend from the moon’s surface ruptured, killing life. of the three crew members in danger. As Mission Control engineers in Houston tried to fix the problem, Buzz ingeniously used the marker he had used to make in-flight annotations (on the various documents in this sale). The pen proved an essential lifesaver, as Aldrin and Armstrong would not have been able to use their fingers or small metal objects on board for fear of electrocution or shorting out the entire electrical system and damaging them. abandon on the moon. Aldrin’s quick thinking and calm, decisive action directly led the crew to achieve the goal set by President John F. Kennedy, “to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth”. So far, the switch and circuit breaker pen have been loaned by Aldrin to various museums, including the Museum of Flight in Seattle and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Original Moonman Reward
Estimated winning bid: $20,000 to $30,000
Presented to Aldrin to commemorate the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in 1984, this “Original Moonman” statuette represents the deep and wide-ranging cultural influence of the Apollo 11 march. Courtesy of Aldrin, MTV has chosen the image of Aldrin planting the United States flag on the moon as a symbol of his new awards program, the concept being inspired by their inaugural broadcast in August 1981, which featured footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk, including the images stars of Buzz on the lunar surface, with animated MTV logos in place of the American flag. An indisputable cultural icon, Aldrin’s silhouette from his lunar adventure remains the symbol of the VMAs nearly 40 years later, and a testament to his indelible place in popular culture.
Estimated winning bid: $7,000 to $10,000
Elsewhere in the sale is Aldrin’s now infamous “Go Army Beat Navy Banner”, a hand-sewn piece of fabric he unveiled during his Gemini XII spacewalks, and which is particularly rare. for its direct exposure to the vacuum of space. Aldrin fondly remembers the banner: “The annual Army and Navy football game happened to be in November. Each season, the cheers of “Go Army Beat Navy” or “Go Navy Beat Army” ring out during the game. Fellow astronaut Tim Stafford had brought a “Beat Army” sign into space on Gemini 6A and so, as a West Point graduate, Aldrin felt a response was needed; “I had this banner made…and took it with me on one of my spacewalks.” He adds, “The army beat the navy 20-7 that year. I’d like to think my high-flying tribute to the military might have helped in the victory.