Items that once belonged to Neil Armstrong – the first man on the moon – are winning sky-high prices at auctions.
A gold medal that flew with Armstrong on Apollo 11 was sold for more than $ 2 million. A blackboard with a Lunar Module nameplate for this mission cost $ 468,500. And a piece of one of the Wright Brothers & # 39; Flyer – the first powered aircraft – that Armstrong also took to the moon was sold for $ 275,000.
All in all, the items from Armstrong's collection have garnered more than $ 12.1 million from three different auctions run by Heritage Auctions in Dallas since November. The last gold medal took place earlier this month for the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission.
"The response of admirers to Mission Commander Armstrong's contribution to humanity has been overwhelming," said Michael Riley, director of space exploration at Heritage, in a press release.
Heritage will host a fourth auction of items from Armstrong's collection on November 14 and 15.
The auctions have sparked controversy in the New York Times. According to The Times, none of the objects were offered by Carol Armstrong, the astronaut's second wife. And some people who knew Armstrong thought he had found the attempt to profit from his fame inappropriate.
Armstrong stopped signing autographs in 1994 after discovering that some people turned and sold the documents he signed, the Times reported. According to the report, he also rejected many offers to benefit from his fame.
The items were auctioned by Rick and Mark Armstrong, the sons of the astronaut, the Times reported. Mark and his wife defended the sale and told The Times that what mattered to them was what they did with the money, not what happened to the items. According to the report, the brothers donated nearly $ 2 million in cash and for artifacts to museums. Meanwhile, Mark and his wife have founded a nonprofit environmental organization called Vantage Earth in honor of his parents.
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