Key Apollo 11 artifacts from astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s personal collection are set to be auctioned off by Sotheby’s later this month.
The only surviving member of the crew that first landed on the Moon could see some of his artifacts, including the jacket he wore during the mission, sold for seven figures.
Though it is not the first time that parts of Mr. Aldrin’s collection have been seen at auction, the new Sotheby catalog showcases some eye-catching historical pieces.
“These are important historic artifacts from that greatest moment in human history. They remind us of what mankind can accomplish,” Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s global head of department and senior specialist for science and pop culture, said in a video.
Among the many artifacts at auction are a broken circuit breaker that could have left the Apollo team stranded on the moon and the felt tip pen that Mr. Aldrin used to fix it.
“Buzz ingeniously pulled a felt tip pen out of the pocket of his sleeve,” Ms. Hatton said. “Amazingly, the tip of that pen fit perfectly into the hole where the broken switch was. He stuck it in there and, miraculously, the engine was able to ignite and they were able to reassemble and meet up with Mike [Collins] and get back home.”
Mr. Aldrin’s jacket is one of the more talked about pieces in the catalog, as it will be the only garment from the Apollo 11 mission that will be available for private ownership.
The spacesuits and jackets of Neil Armstrong and Collins are on display at the Smithsonian.
Other highlights in the collection include a systems activation checklist, which was supposed to be left on the moon, and a “Go Army, Beat Navy” banner that Mr. Aldrin carried on his Gemini 12 spacewalk.
The jacket and circuit breaker are estimated to sell for upwards of $2 million each.
The “Buzz Aldrin: American Icon” auction will be held at Sotheby’s New York gallery on July 26.