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Bag Neil Armstrong with traces of lunar dust sold for 1.8 million dollars

Exactly 48 years after the lunar module Apollo 11 touched the surface of the moon, in the auction house Sotheby's was sold a bag, which Neil Armstrong used to collect rock samples, for 1.8 million dollars. However, not everyone is happy with the idea of selling this extremely important artifact.

The most expensive artifact

This bag was made of a material similar to that used for the production of spacesuits. It was used during the landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon in July 1969, and even after 48 years it still retains traces of lunar dust.

Together with the bag on July 20 at the Sotheby's auction in New York, other memorabilia of cosmonauts worth more than $ 3.8 million were sold. In fact, the founders of the auction expected that the bag will be sold much more expensive, somewhere from 2 to 4 million dollars. This is the most expensive artifact from the US space program, which left the auction. Nevertheless, in world history, the most expensive is the Soviet space capsule Vostok 3KA, which in 2011 was sold for 2.9 million dollars.

The History of Neil Armstrong's Bag

The journey of this bag to the moon and back was only the beginning of her adventures. It was one of the few pieces of equipment from the mission of Apollo 11, which did not hit the Smithsonian Museum. As a result, due to an error during the inventory, the artifact for decades lay in a box in the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Shortly before the bag was to be thrown out by the employees of the Space Center, it was handed over to collectors from the Space Museum in Kansas, who did not know its true value and origin. Then, in 2015, the owner of the museum was convicted of theft, fraud and money laundering. The box with the bag fell into the hands of the FBI and was exhibited at an auction where it was bought for only $ 995 by Nancy Lee Carlson, a lawyer from Illinois.

She sent the bag to NASA for analysis, suspecting that it contains moon dust. However, the space agency decided to take it back, saying that the artifact "belongs to the American people". There followed a long judicial battle, as a result of which the bag was returned to Carlson. Since the artifact was just sold for 1.8 million dollars, she is no doubt happy with this outcome.

Can I sell space artifacts

However, some people say that this auction was not legal. For example, the non-profit organization For All Moonkind appealed to the United Nations to protect six landing sites on the moon as part of the World Heritage program. Representatives of the organization argue that the sale of such artifacts as the bag of Neil Armstrong, contrary to the spirit of space exploration.

"This bag must belong to the museum, so that the whole world can access the universal achievements of humanity, which it personifies," says Michelle Hanlon, a space lawyer and co-founder of For All Moonkind, in a statement.

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