Neil Armstrong Moon Dust Bag for Sale

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Apollo 13 was supposed to be the third USA moon landing attempt.

But the collection pouch got mixed up with other sample bags that were never used to hold lunar materials, Hull said.

Famous global auction house Sotheby's is ready to auction out a significant piece of Space Exploration history.

The long-lost bag used by USA astronaut Neil Armstrong to bring back to Earth the first samples of moon dust is expected to sell for up to $4 million when it is auctioned with other space memorabilia next week in New York City.

Almost all of the equipment from the mission is housed in the USA national collections at the Smithsonian Museum but, according to Sotheby's, a recent court ruling has allowed this to be the only such artefact in private hands.

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Sotheby's is auctioning off a bag that Neil Armstrong used to collect moon samples as he strode through the sea of tranquility in 1969.

An inventory error however left the sample bag languishing in a box at the Johnson Space Center.

When the collector was later convicted of theft, fraud and money laundering, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the box from his garage to auction it off for restitution along with other assets.

The bag of moon dust is owned by Chicago-area lawyer Nancy Lee Carlson, after it was mistakenly sold on a government website for $995 (£769).

Sotheby's, which will auction the goods on Thursday, said the original objective of the bag was only discovered two years ago, when its current owner bought it as part of an auction of assets seized by the U.S. Marshall's Service.

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Armstrong collected dust and rock fragments from five different locations on the lunar surface.

Lunar module pilot Fred Haise, who took part in the Apollo 13 mission in 1970, attended the reception for the sale and gave remarks on his own time in space.

"Still containing remnants of lunar dust, this seemingly modest bag has undergone an incredible journey from the Earth to the moon and back, and to us here 48 years later". "It's the closest I'll ever come to shaking hands with Neil Armstrong or being able to walk on the moon". Numerous Apollo 13 artifacts are offered in Sotheby's sale, including the booklet of flight plans used by Haise's crew onboard (lot 140).

Sotheby's Space Exploration sale will take place at 11 am in New York City on Thursday, July 20. The English-translated governmental report on his descriptions of Earth based on his experience has an estimated value of $50,000 to $80,000.

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