Moon rocks sell for 855,000 dollars in US auction

Published: Nov 30, 2018, 09:28 IST | IANS

The moon rocks - tiny fragments, actually, had been valued between 700,000 dollars and 1 million dollar, and ultimately went for 855,000 dollars after adding taxes and commissions

Moon rocks sell for 855,000 dollars in US auction
In this file photo taken on November 28, 2018 three Moon Rocks returned to earth from the unmanned Soviet Luna-16 Mission in 1970, are displayed at Sotheby's in New York. - Three moon rocks brought to Earth nearly half a century ago and the only known documented lunar samples in private hands, sold for $855,000 in New York on November 29, 2018, Sotheby's said. The rocks, collected by an unmanned Soviet Luna-16 Mission in 1970, went for nearly double the $442,500 last paid for them by the present-day US sellers in a Sotheby's Russian space history sale in 1993. Pic/AFP

New York: The only documented moon rocks still in private hands sold at an auction house in New York for $850,000. Thursday's sale - including all sorts of objects and items pertaining to outer space - took place a month before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission to send men around the Moon for the first time, and Sotheby's took advantage of the anniversary to offer about 300 collectors' items related to assorted space missions, reports Efe news.

The moon rocks - tiny fragments, actually, had been valued between $700,000 and $1 million, and ultimately went for $855,000 after adding taxes and commissions.

The three tiny lunar stones were obtained during the unmanned Russian Luna-16 mission to the Moon in 1970. The rocks were initially the property of Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, the video of the director of the Soviet Union's space programme, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, who received them as a gift from the USSR in recognition of the contribution of her deceased husband.

They were previously sold at a Sotheby's auction in 1993, the first time in history that any extraterrestrial item had been offered to the public. Also going on the auction block at the unusual sale on Thursday was a Gemini space suit prepared for NASA between 1963 and 1965 for US astronaut Pete Conrad, which sold for $162,500. Sotheby's also auctioned off was the painting "The Final Impossibility: Man's Tracks on the Moon", painted in 1969 by US artist Norman Rockwell and sold for $87,500.

Numerous models of spacecraft, clocks and maps were also sold, along with the autographs of well-known astronauts and cosmonauts - including the Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space - as well as photographs were taken of the Moon during space missions and the flags of various nations taken on those missions.

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