Buzz Aldrin's jacket from the Apollo mission 11 sells for $2.8m

Buzz Aldrin’s ‘flight to the moon’ jacket from the Apollo 11 mission sells for $2.8million at auction making it the most valuable US space artifact

  • Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 jacket auctioned off to a bidder for nearly $2.8 million 
  • It was worn on the historic first mission to the moon’s surface in 1969
  • Unidentified winner, who participated by phone, won a bidding over 10 minutes 

Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s jacket worn on his historic first mission to the moon’s surface in 1969 has been auctioned off to a bidder for nearly $2.8 million.

The $2,772,500 paid for the Apollo 11 Inflight Coverall Jacket is the highest for any American space-flown artifact sold at auction, according to Sotheby’s, which handled the sale. 

It smashed pre-auction expectations for the winning bid by almost a third as bidders went crazy over the legendary jacket worn during one of the greatest feats every accomplished by mankind.

The unidentified winner, who participated by phone, outlasted several others in a bidding that spanned almost 10 minutes.

The Inflight Coverall jacket, with the serial number 1039, was worn to and from the moon. It is the only piece of clothing from the space flight that has ever been available for private ownership. 

Astronaut ‘Buzz’ Aldrin auctioned off the NASA jacket he wore to the moon, along with other artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 mission

The jacket worn by astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin on the historic first mission to the moon’s surface in 1969, which sold for nearly $2.8 million at auction

The Inflight Coverall jacket, with the serial number 1039, was worn to and from the moon. It is the only piece of clothing from the space flight that has ever been available for private ownership

Pictured: Buzz Aldrin is seen on the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969, photo taken by Neil Armstrong

Apollo 11 astronauts Col. Edwin E. Aldrin, left, lunar module pilot, Neil Armstrong, center, flight commander, and Lt. Michael Collins, right, command module pilot, stand next to their spacecraft in 1969

Buzz Aldrin pictured waving to the crowd during the Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2019 in New York City

The jacket displays Aldrin’s name tag on the left breast above the Apollo 11 mission emblem, and the American flag on the left shoulder. 

It is made of a fire-resistant material known as Beta cloth that was incorporated in spacesuits in response to the fire that killed three astronauts aboard Apollo 1 in 1967, according to Sotheby’s.

Aldrin, 92, also put his personal collection up for sale in the auction celebrating his life.

It includes a broken circuit breaker that nearly ended the lives of those on the famed space flight and the felt tip pen that was used in its place, which will go under the hammer for the same price.

Other notable items in the sale included the Apollo 11 summary flight plan, containing a complete summary of the entire mission from launch to splashdown.

The nine-page booklet has the full timeline of the mission, including descriptions of the lunar module landing, moonwalk and lift-off from the moon. 

It sold for $819,000, more than five times its presale high estimate.

The ill-fated circuit breaker switch that nearly marooned the Apollo 11 crew on the moon failed to sell, along with a dented pen that allowed Aldrin to work on the electrical component while trying to achieve lift-off from the moon.

The dented pen that allowed Aldrin to work on the electrical component while trying to achieve lift-off from the moon was part of a lot that failed to sell

Pictured: The water dispenser that was attached to Buzz Aldrin’s space suit

Documents from the Apollo 11 mission, that were supposed to be discarded to lighten the load of the craft and save fuel. They sold for $819,000, more than five times its presale high estimate

Pictured: The earpiece worn by Buzz Aldrin during the  Apollo 11 mission

Bidding stalled at $650,000, well under the auction’s estimate of $1 million. 

Fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins’ jackets are currently in the Smithsonian alongside all three crew members’ pressure suits.

Buzz Aldrin is the only one of the three still alive today. Neil Armstrong died in 2012, while Mike Collins passed away in April last year. 

Buzz Aldrin said: ‘This collection is a summation of my career as an astronaut, from my studies at West Point, to my first EVA during Gemini XII, to humankind’s first lunar landing on Apollo 11 where we planted the American flag, and a bit beyond.

‘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.

‘From the jacket that I wore on my trip to the Moon and back, to the famous broken circuit breaker switch that nearly ended our lives, and the pen that saved us, to various artifacts we used to complete the mission, I hope that this collection offers some insight into what it has been like to be Buzz Aldrin.’

Made from fire-proof ‘Beta Cloth’, the jacket includes reinforced holes in the upper torso through which medical tubes could pass and Buzz’s name, ‘E. Aldrin’ printed above the Apollo 11 mission logo.

On the left shoulder is the US flag and the NASA logo is on the right lapel.

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