(PresidentialWire.com)- On Tuesday, Buzz Aldrin sold his Teflon-coated space jacket from his 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the moon for over $2.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.
Aldrin’s Inflight Coverall Jacket was one of 69 objects he placed for sale at the auction and became the most valued American space relic ever sold at an auction by the fine arts firm.
Aldrin, 92, spent much of his six-day voyage wearing the component separate from the spacesuit while traveling to the moon and back aboard the spacecraft Command Module Columbia with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.
Aldrin finally let go of the historic American treasure after 50 years.
Aldrin said last week that after serious contemplation, the timing felt appropriate to share these objects with the world, which for many are emblems of a historical event, but for him, have always remained personal keepsakes of a life committed to science and exploration.
Sotheby’s reported the unique garment sold in just 10 minutes after buyers chased it until a customer who bought over the phone made the highest offer.
All but one of Aldrin’s 69 pieces sold during Tuesday’s auction.
The lot contained a faulty circuit switch that almost left the crew stranded on the moon and a dented metal pen used by the spaceman to rescue the squad.
“I took a felt-tip pen and shoved it in, and Houston exclaimed, ‘Hooray, we got a live circuit!’” Aldrin recounted. “Then we started the countdown.”
The New York Times stated that auction managers anticipated it to sell for $1 million, but bidding froze at $650,000.
Aldrin’s space artifacts sold for $8.2 million at Tuesday’s auction.
Other sold products were gold-colored lifetime passes to Major League Baseball games, an MTV Video Music Awards trophy fashioned after Aldrin had driven into the moon’s surface, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed by President Nixon for his 240,000-mile re-entry to Earth.
Cassandra Hatton, a senior expert at Sotheby’s, told The New York Times that space objects that have been to the moon excite buyers because things play an essential part in human history.
“It’s a moment that reminds us all what we can do,” she remarked. “We can do the almost impossible, like escape our fate of being stranded on this planet. We can achieve fantastic things.”
Six hundred fifty million people worldwide saw Aldrin and Armstrong become the first humans to walk on the moon.