News / Science & Technology

    Space Memorabilia Auction Hits $1 Million Mark in New York

    An Apollo 11 emblem, flown into lunar orbit and signed by the crew - Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, which is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000, is displayed as part of the upcoming Space History Sale at Bonham's auction house in New York, April 4, 2014.
    An Apollo 11 emblem, flown into lunar orbit and signed by the crew - Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, which is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000, is displayed as part of the upcoming Space History Sale at Bonham's auction house in New York, April 4, 2014.
    Reuters
     An emblem that traveled with U.S. astronauts on the 1969 Apollo moon flight and a check list from that historic mission were the top-selling items in a sale of space memorabilia, Bonhams auction house said on Wednesday.
     
    Nearly 300 space enthusiasts and collectors, ranging in age from their late 20s upwards, from 17 countries on four continents bid by telephone, Internet or in person in New York on Tuesday.
     
    The auction took in $1 million, with 80 percent of the 300 items sold.
     
    “Space memorabilia is something that has broad appeal and you don't have to be a specialist to be excited about space exploration,” Cassandra Hatton, senior space specialist at Bonhams in New York, said.
     
    “It is something that people dream of when they are kids. A lot of children dreamed of being an astronaut. It is a very personal kind of collecting area,” she added.
     
    The Apollo 11 checklist sheet with data recorded by crew member Buzz Aldrin while on the moon rocketed past it pre-sale estimate of $45,000 and sold for $68,750.
     
    A Mercury era Space Suit (C) is displayed with a Soviet full pressure Strizh Rescue Space Suit (R) as part of the upcoming Space History Sale at Bonham's auction house in New York, April 4, 2014.A Mercury era Space Suit (C) is displayed with a Soviet full pressure Strizh Rescue Space Suit (R) as part of the upcoming Space History Sale at Bonham's auction house in New York, April 4, 2014.
    x
    A Mercury era Space Suit (C) is displayed with a Soviet full pressure Strizh Rescue Space Suit (R) as part of the upcoming Space History Sale at Bonham's auction house in New York, April 4, 2014.
    A Mercury era Space Suit (C) is displayed with a Soviet full pressure Strizh Rescue Space Suit (R) as part of the upcoming Space History Sale at Bonham's auction house in New York, April 4, 2014.
    Another top seller was an emblem showing an eagle with an olive branch above the moon's surface that was identical to the ones worn on the spacesuits of the crew.
     
    It fetched $62,500, slightly more than the top estimate, and was signed by the astronauts - Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins - on the historic mission.
     
    An American flag carried by Aldrin into lunar orbit brought in $47,500, double its low estimate, and an Apollo 11 flight plan sheet sold for $37,500.
     
    Hatton said space memorabilia has a nostalgic appeal for collectors. Many people remember when the Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
     
    “It was the first time we set foot on the moon. Anytime we do a first thing it is a big deal,” Hatton added. “There is also a more general interest from the public in science and space exploration. We haven't had a space program in a long time and it speaks to people's desire to see it happen again.”
     
    Another popular item was the Mercury Era spacesuit. It fetched $43,750, five times its low estimate, after lengthy bidding. The spacesuit was from the start of the U.S. human space exploration program, the Mercury Project, that launched the first American into space. The last flight was in 1963.
     
    A rare Russian Strizh spacesuit, one of only 27 made, expected to sell for $20,000 failed to reach its reserve price, which Bonhams would not reveal. Many of the suits cosmonauts used for tests and training from 1981 to 1991 were damaged or destroyed.
     
    But a control panel from the Mir Space Station, which had an estimate of $6,000, went to the highest bidder for $9,375.

    You May Like

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.