Own a slice of space history: ‘Buzz’ Aldrin is auctioning off the NASA jacket he wore to the moon and back for up to $2million along with other artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 moon mission
- The second man on the moon is putting his personal collection up for sale
- Items are set to be sold by Sotheby’s on July 26 in the auction celebrating his life
- Jacket goes up for sale alongside a broken circuit breaker that nearly ended the lives of those on the space flight and the felt tip pen that was used in its place
- Buzz’s Inflight Coverall jacket bears the serial number 1039. It is the only piece of clothing from the space flight that has ever been available for private ownership
Astronaut ‘Buzz’ Aldrin is auctioning off the NASA jacket he wore to the moon for up to $2 million, along with other artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 lunar mission.
The 92-year-old, who was second man on the moon after Neil Armstrong, is putting his personal collection up for sale in an auction celebrating his life. The items are set to be sold by Sotheby’s on July 26 in the ‘Buzz Aldrin: American Icon’ auction.
The jacket goes up for sale alongside a broken circuit breaker that nearly ended the lives of those on the famed space flight and the felt tip pen that was used in its place, which will go under the hammer for the same price.
Astronaut ‘Buzz’ Aldrin is auctioning off the NASA jacket he wore to the moon for up to $2million, along with other artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 mission
Pictured: Buzz’s jacket is displayed on a mannequin ahead of the auction on July 26, which will see a number of other items in the astronauts collection go under the hammer
Pictured: Buzz Aldrin is seen on the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969
The jacket goes up for sale alongside a broken circuit breaker that nearly ended the lives of those on the famed space flight and the felt tip pen (pictured) that was used in its place, which will go under the hammer for the same price
Buzz’s Inflight Coverall jacket, with the serial number 1039, was worn to and from the moon. It is the only piece of clothing from the space flight that has ever been available for private ownership.
Fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins’ jackets are currently in the Smithsonian alongside all three crew members’ pressure suits.
Buzz Aldrin is the only one of the three still alive today. Neil Armstrong died in 2012, while Mike Collins passed away in April last year.
Buzz Aldrin said: ‘This collection is a summation of my career as an astronaut, from my studies at West Point, to my first EVA during Gemini XII, to humankind’s first lunar landing on Apollo 11 where we planted the American flag, and a bit beyond.
‘After deep consideration, the time felt right to share these items with the world, which for many are symbols of a historical moment, but for me have always remained personal mementos of a life dedicated to science and exploration.
‘From the jacket that I wore on my trip to the Moon and back, to the famous broken circuit breaker switch that nearly ended our lives, and the pen that saved us, to various artifacts we used to complete the mission, I hope that this collection offers some insight into what it has been like to be Buzz Aldrin.’
Made from fire-proof ‘Beta Cloth’, the jacket includes reinforced holes in the upper torso through which medical tubes could pass and Buzz’s name, ‘E. Aldrin’ printed above the Apollo 11 mission logo.
On the left shoulder is the US flag and the NASA logo is on the right lapel.
The sale also includes a hand stitched banner used during Buzz’s Gemini XII space walks bearing the slogan ‘Go Army Beat Navy’, valued at £25,000
It is up for grabs alongside a circuit-breaker switch that was needed for the Lunar Module to be able to re-ascend from the moon’s surface but broke off – putting the lives of the crew in mortal danger.
But Buzz’s quick thinking meant that he saved the men on board – with a felt tip pen he used to make notes during the flight.
Also up for grabs, the pen allowed him to work on the electrical component while using their fingers or a metal tool may have electrocuted the pilots, or short-circuited the spacecraft and left them marooned on the moon.
These go up for sale alongside documents from the Apollo 11 mission that were supposed to be discarded to lighten the load of the craft and save fuel.
Buzz decided to save the pack labelled ‘jettison’, which includes information such as navigational data, oxygen pressure and communication tents between the Command and Service Module and Mission Control.
They will go under the hammer for over £200,000.
Buzz’s 1984 MTV Video Music Awards statuette will also go under the hammer £8,000, after he allowed them to use a silhouette of him planting the US flag on the moon as their logo
Pictured: The earpiece worn by Buzz Aldrin will go up for auction as well
The sale also includes a hand stitched banner used during Buzz’s Gemini XII space walks bearing the slogan ‘Go Army Beat Navy’, valued at £25,000.
This is a reference to a chant at the annual Army/Navy American football game, and was a reply to fellow Astronaut Tim Stafford’s sign ‘Go Navy Beat Army’ on the Gemini 6A space mission.
Buzz’s 1984 MTV Video Music Awards statuette will also go under the hammer £8,000, after he allowed them to use a silhouette of him planting the US flag on the moon as their logo.
40 years later, they continue to use the symbol for their awards.
Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science & Popular Culture said: ‘Buzz has always been a personal inspiration to me; not just for his incredible achievements during his distinguished career as an astronaut, but because of who he is as a person.
‘This collection is the reflection of a man of incredible strength and drive, a man who has faced times of adversity with determination and perseverance, and who remained logical and level-headed, even in moments of great peril.
‘We are incredibly honored to be able to bring to market the collection of this great American, and indeed, global icon, in a sale that represents the only chance to acquire artifacts of this caliber.’
Documents from the Apollo 11 mission, that were supposed to be discarded to lighten the load of the craft and save fuel, will go up for auction next week
Pictured: The water dispenser that was attached to Buzz Aldrin’s space suit
Tomorrow (July 20) is the 53rd anniversary of the first Moon landing in 1969.
To mark the 50-year anniversary of the first Moon landing in 2019, Buzz recalled how it felt at the time to be part of the famous crew.
‘I sometimes think the three of us missed ‘the big event’,’ he said at the time. ‘While we were out there on the moon, the world was growing closer together, right here.’
Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, famously saying: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ Of some of the most famous words in history, Aldrin said: ‘Neil thought of that. It wasn’t on the checklist.’
Aldrin’s turn to leave the landing module came next.
‘I then got in position to come down… came down the ladder, and jumped off, being careful not to lock the door behind me,’ he said. ‘It was easy to balance’, he siad, as he moved about surface of the Moon to set up experiments.
Speaking in Los Angeles at the time, he said he still stands by his own, less famous, catch phrase that he said from the moon, in which he described the landscape as being a scene of ‘magnificent desolation.’
‘I guess I said that because it was magnificent,’ he said. ‘We had gotten there, and it looked pretty desolate. But it was magnificent desolation. I think Neil remarked the beauty, too.’
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