Most expensive space memorabilia
The space age officially began 51 years ago when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into the outer space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961. The whole world was celebrating the big event. Space enthusiasts have been known to bid huge prices to own space memorabilia, like a Russian businessman spent $3 million to own the Vostok 3KA-2 capsule and a lot of historic space items have been sold off to space collectors at the Bonhams’ Space History Sale earlier, which went on to become the most important auctions of the year 2011. Check-out the most important space memorabilia that ever went on auction.
Russian spacesuit – Sokol K
Price realized: $242,000
This is one of the star highlights of the Bonhams’ Space History Sale. Worn by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, commander of the Soyuz 19 spacecraft, this space suit was manufactured by Zvezda.
Scott’s Lunar Surface Stopwatch
Estimate: $120,000 – $180,000
This stopwatch was used to time engine burns of the Apollo 15 Lunar Module Falcon. This timer was used to time the duration of the critical Descent Orbit Insertion (DOI) maneuver. The Bulova stopwatch has 2-inch main dial with second hand registering up to 30 seconds in increments of 0.1 second.
Strekalov’s Soyuz TM-10 Space Suit
Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000
Price realized: $67100
This suit has spent 130 days in space. Soyuz TM-10’s flight engineer Gennadi Strekalov wore the Sokol KV-2 pressure suit, manufactured by Zvezda.
Movie camera from the Lunar surface
Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000
Price Realized: $ 80,000
This is one of two 16 mm motion picture Data Acquisition Cameras carried on the Apollo 14 Lunar Module, Antares. The Flown Data Acquisition Camera, model 308A, was manufactured by J.A. Maurer Inc.
Michael Collin’s crew signed Apollo 11 emblem
Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000
Price Realized: $ 95,000
This is the Flown Apollo 11 crew mission emblem that’s printed on Beta cloth. It is signed by the Apollo 11 crew – Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. Moreover, it’s inscribed by Collins above the emblem – Carried to the moon aboard Apollo XI, July 1969.
Flown PLSS strap, exposed to Lunar surface
Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000
Price realized: $ 85,000
This is the lower right side strap from Apollo 14 lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell’s Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The strap has been signed and inscribed by Edgar Mitchell and it reads…This lower right backpack strap helped support my ‘PLSS’ during both of my moonwalks: Feb 5-6, 1971. Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 LMP.
Conrad’s Lunar Dust-embedded optical device
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
Price realized: $10980
This is the Flown Apollo 12 COAS sun filter consisting of a 2-inch square metal frame, 1½ inch in diameter tinted glass, a small velcro tab and a 6 inch long strap with embedded lunar dust. This was was flown to the lunar surface aboard the Lunar Module Intrepid during the flight of Apollo XII.
Flown to the Lunar Surface, Lunar Surface checklist sheet
Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000
Price realized: $ 16,470
This is one of the most expensive set of notes recorded while on moon. These are the sheet numbered SUR-48 and SUR-49 from the Apollo 11 LM Lunar Surface Checklist. Along with it comes a typed letter signed by Buzz Aldrin, which reads…The entire checklist, including this sheet, was carried to the surface of the Moon in Lunar Module Eagle during the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969. This is one of the few sheets that actually has some mission notes made during our lunar surface stay.
Confirming the “First” Manned Space Flight
Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000
Price realized: $ 9,760
This is a very important document, as it should technically have proclaimed Alan Shepard’s flight as the first successful manned space flight. Alan Shepard was the first American in space.
Aldrin and the Lunar module
Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000
Price realized: $1,52000
Another highlight from the Space History sale is this mounted and framed large color photograph of Buzz Aldrin shortly after deploying the seismic experiment left on the moon. It’s signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Check out the amazing lots at the Bonhams’ Space History Sale.
NASA robot hand with space suit glove
If you are into robotics, here is a chance to own an important piece of robotics history. Up for grabs at eBay is the Omni-Hand I, the first truly motorized dexterous robot hand. It was designed and built in the early ‘90s by Mark Rosheim and funded by NASA contracts NAS8-37638 and NAS8-38417. Only two prototypes were ever made, and the one up for sale is the only complete and functioning system. One of the unique features of this prototype is the custom fitted NASA space suit glove made by the same company who makes space suits for NASA. It’s the first robotic hand that comes with custom fitted NASA space suit glove. Winner of the 1993 NASA Technology Utilization Award, the Omni-Hand enjoys a modular design and features ball-and-socket joints for flexibility and dexterity. The complete package includes Omni-Hand with base and space glove, power box, motion controller, extra power box, motion controller, hand control software for PC and an original copy of the Robot Evolution: The Development of Anthrobotics, which feature many details about the Omni-Hand. The NASA robot hand with space glove carries a price tag of $18,750.
Alexei Leonov’s space suit
The star highlight of Bonhams’ Space History Sale, Alexei Leonov’s flown space suit, was sold for a whopping $242,000, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $100,000 and $150,000. Alexei Leonov, the commander of the Soyuz 19 spacecraft, wore this space suit during the historic 1975 Apollo Soyuz Test Project. It was the first time that the Americans and the Soviets met in space with their spaceships. Alexei Leonov’s space suit was manufactured by Zvezda. He wore this space suit during the docking operations and during launch and re-entry. The Sokol-K suit was categorized as a “rescue suit” since it was designed to protect the wearer in the event of spacecraft depressurization.
On the other hand, Gennadi Strekalov’s Soyuz TM-10 space suit (pictured on the right) managed to sell for $67,100. It was expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000. This suit has spent 130 days in space. Another highlight from Bonhams’ Space History Sale was Scott’s Lunar Surface Stopwatch, which remains unsold as of now. It was expected to sell for between $120,000 and $180,000.
Bonhams’ space auction was held to coincide with the anniversary of NASA’s first human spaceflight – Freedom 7 – on May 5, 1961. This spaceflight made Alan Shepard the first American in space.
Moonwalker signed chart
Signed by six Apollo 11 crew members who landed and walked on moon, an official moon chart was among the stars of the recent Bonham’s Space History auction in New York on April 26. Featuring the autographs of Alan Bean, Dave Scott, Buzz Aldrin, Edgar Mitchell, Gene Cernan and Charles M Duke, the 1971 Aeronautical Chart and Information Center chart of a portion of the Moon got sold for $62,500.