This past Tuesday at a Sotheby’s auction held in New York, Legendary American astronaut Buzz Aldrin decided to sell off his historic white, Teflon-coated space jacket that he wore during his historic 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon for a sum of roughly $2.8 million.
Aldrin’s Inflight Coverall Jacket was just one of the 69 different lots listed for sale by the astronaut during the auction and quickly became the most valuable American space artifact ever sold at an auction by the fine arts company.
At 92 years old, Aldrin spent the vast majority of his six-day journey wearing this particular part of the spacesuit while making the flight to the moon and back inside the spacecraft Command Module Columbia with Commander Neil Armstrong and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins.
After almost 50 years of keeping the historic American artifact, Aldrin finally decided that he was ready to let it go with a final goodbye to the jacket.
“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,” Aldrin stated in a release just last week.
Sotheby’s stated that the extremely rare piece of clothing sold in slightly less than ten minutes after bidders went after the item until the buyer, who was bidding remotely via phone, made the highest offer and finalized the sale.
of the issued 19 lots, all but one sold quickly during the auction held on Tuesday.
The unsold lot sported a small broken circuit switch that was the center point of the problem that almost left the mission crew stuck on the moon and a dented aluminum pen which was used by the spaceman himself to rescue the team.
“I used a felt-tip pen and pushed it in, and Houston says, ‘Hooray, we got a live circuit!’” stated Aldrin. “Then we were ready to proceed with the countdown.”
It was reported by The New York Times that the auction officials thought it would sell for roughly $1 million, but the bidding seemingly stalled out at roughly $650,000.
At the Tuesday auction, all of Aldrin’s space memorabilia sold out at approximately $8.2 million.
Other items sold in the auction included gold-colored lifetime passes to Major League Baseball games, an MTV Video Music Awards statuette the music network modeled after Aldrin forced into the moon’s surface, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to him by President Nixon for his 240,000-mile re-entry to Earth.
One senior specialist at Sotheby’s, Cassandra Hatton, stated to the Times that she thought the various space artifacts that have made the trip to the moon utterly fascinated bidders because of the fact that the items played a massive role in human history.
“It’s a moment that reminds us all what we can do,” she stated. “We can achieve the near impossible, like we can escape our fate of being stuck on this planet. We can do amazing things.”