Moon History For Sale At Sotheby’s Space Auction

Memorabilia from the Apollo 13 mission, shown here on the launch pad, was the top seller. Image: NASA

Space enthusiasts bought a slice of history Thursday, shelling out a combined ~$680,000 at Sotheby’s annual space exploration auction.

The online auction sold more than 60 pieces of historical memorabilia, signed photos, and items that had flown to space.

Big ticket: The top seller was an Apollo 13 flight plan signed and inscribed by capsule communicator Jack Lousma, lunar module pilot Fred Haise, and flight director Gene Kranz. The booklet, which Sotheby’s estimated to be worth $3,000-$5,000, sold for a whopping $48,260.    

Lunar fever: Two items each sold for $44,450, tied for the second-highest bid of the auction: a rescue arrow decal that flew to the Moon aboard the Apollo 15 mission and a boost cover release decal that flew on Apollo 11.

There was a three-way tie for third, at a price tag of $30,480:

  • A map of the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility signed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin
  • An acrylic painting by Apollo 12 astronaut-turned-painter Alan LaVern Bean, which shows Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott drilling on the lunar surface. The painting incorporates tiny pieces of the Apollo 12 spacecraft and was texturized by a geology hammer that Bean used on the Moon.
  • A photo of Apollo 13 on the launch pad signed by mission commander Jim Lovell, Haise, and electrical, environmental, and consumables manager Sy Liebergot.

No bids: A copy of the Voyager Golden Record, valued at $400,000-$600,000, was up for sale, but received no bids. The record is the master audio recording that belonged to Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, who worked on the project to launch a record on the two Voyager missions that included sounds of nature, music throughout history, and greetings in 55 different languages.