Neil Amstrong's bag, which he used by to collect the first ever traces of moon dust, was sold at auction for $1.8 million on Friday. the day also marks the 48th anniversary of the first moon landing. Neil Armstrong – the first man to set foot on the moon – held rocks and dust from the lunar region known as the Sea of Tranquility.
The bag was sold to an anonymous bidder for $1.8 million in New York. It was in 1969, US space agency NASA launched the first manned lunar mission – Apollo 11. Auctioneers had expected the bag to fetch between $2 million and $4 million.
Cassandra Hatton, who handled the sale for Sotheby's, said it is "absolutely" a one-of-kind item.
"I just say Neil Armstrong moon dust -- you get it," Hatton says. "You don't have to be American to understand why this is so important and this is also what's exciting about this. I could talk to a 5-year-old in China, and they would get excited about this."
Other items on the block were Armstrong's snapshot of fellow Apollo 11 astronaut "Buzz" Aldrin on the moon. Sotheby's tweeted Thursday that the image soared past $35,000 at auction -- which was seven times above the original estimate.
So theby's tweeted a photo of another item -- a flight plan autographed by crew members of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. Sotheby's said Thursday that it went for $275,000, six times a high estimate.
Another item that sold at auction was a picture of astronaut Charlie Duke on the lunar surface during the Apollo 16 mission. It went for $37,500, Sotheby's tweeted.
Also up for bid Thursday was a picture of man's first look at Earth from the moon. Sotheby's said on Twitter that it fetched $17,500 -- nearly three times its high estimate.
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) July 20, 2017
Capping the sale was a Snoopy astronaut doll that was the mascot of the Apollo 10 crew, at an estimated pre-sale price of $2,000 to $3,000. Late Thursday, the auction price soared to $27,500, according to Sotheby's.
In all, Thursday's auction of various items garnered a total of $3.8 million, according to a Sotheby's tweet.