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21 May 2017

Bag used by Armstrong in Apollo11 mission to be auctioned

Apollo 11 sample bag to be auctioned

A collection bag used by Neil Armstrong to collect samples of rocks and dust from the lunar surface will be sold at auction on 20 July by Sotheby's New York.

Sources said that the bag could fetch up to $4 million at the auction.

The auction will mark the first legal sale of remnants from the Apollo mission.

In context

Apollo 11 sample bag to be auctioned
Some details of the bag

Details

Some details of the bag

The bag is a white square pouch, used to hold rock samples and dust.

It was used by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when they landed on the moon in 1969.

The samples stored in the bag were collected from an area of the lunar surface known as the Sea of Tranquility.

It subsequently got mixed up with other sample bags at NASA.

Auction

How did it wind up at auction?

Sale of lunar materials is prohibited under US law, but authorities said several items from the Apollo mission are believed to have been sold in the black market.

The current owner of the bag Chicago-area attorney Nancy Lee Carlson, bought it at an auction with other things for just $995.

When she sent it to NASA for testing, it was confirmed to have lunar-materials.

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NASA refuses to return bag, court disagrees

After finding lunar material in the bag, NASA refused to return it to the owner. However, NASA lost a legal battle over possession of the bag and returned it to Carlson in February 2017.

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