Legendary American Astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s Moon Jacket Auctions For $2.8 Million
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Legendary American astronaut Buzz Aldrin sold his white, Teflon-coated space jacket worn during his historic 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon for nearly $2.8 million on Tuesday at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.

Aldrin’s Inflight Coverall Jacket was one of the astronaut’s 69 lots he listed for sale during the auction and became the most valuable American space artifact ever sold at an auction by the fine arts company.

Aldrin, 92, spent most of his six-day journey wearing the piece separate from the spacesuit while flying to the moon and back inside the spacecraft Command Module Columbia with Commander Neil Armstrong and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins.

After 50 years holding onto the historic American artifact, Aldrin finally felt ready to say goodbye once and for all.

“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 said in a statement last week.

Sotheby’s said the exceptionally rare garment sold in under ten minutes after bidders chased the item until the buyer, who bid over the phone, made the highest offer and clinched the sale.

All but one of Aldrin’s 69 lots sold during Tuesday’s auction.

The lot included a tiny broken circuit switch that almost left the crew stranded on the moon and a dented aluminum pen 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!’” Aldrin said. “Then we were ready to proceed with the countdown.”

The New York Times reported that auction officials expected it to sell for at $1 million, but bidding stalled at about $650,000.

Aldrin’s space memorabilia sold for approximately $8.2 million at Tuesday’s auction.

Other sold items 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.

Cassandra Hatton, a senior specialist at Sotheby’s, told The New York Times that she believed space artifacts that have traveled to the moon fascinate bidders because the items play a significant role in human history.

“It’s a moment that reminds us all what we can do,” she said. “We can achieve the near impossible, like we can escape our fate of being stuck on this planet. We can do amazing things.”

An estimated 650 million people worldwide witnessed on television the moment when Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first two people to walk on the moon.

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