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Buzz Aldrin sells space flight jacket, medals, gear for $8+ million at auction

Buzz Aldrin salutes the U.S flag on the Moon. (Neil Armstrong/NASA)
July 29, 2022

Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, sold more than $8 million worth of space memorabilia during an auction on Tuesday. 

Business Insider reported that Aldrin sold 68 items related to the Apollo 11 and Gemini XII missions, amassing $8,184,578. 

Sold by the Sotheby’s auction house, the pieces of American history included Aldrin’s jacket, which sold for $2,772,500. 

“I wore this Inflight Coverall Jacket… in the Command Module Columbia, on our historic journey to the Moon and back home again during the Apollo 11 mission,” Aldrin said, according to France 24. 

The New York Times reported that an auctioneer said Buzz Aldrin’s jacket was “the most valuable American space-flown artifact ever sold at auction.

Aldrin also auctioned off multiple medals, as well, including his Presidential Medal of Freedom, which went for $277,200. Former President Richard Nixon awarded Aldrin the highest presidential civilian award in 1969. 

Not everything at the auction was bought – the bidding for a pen and a circuit breaker used to repair an issue during the Apollo 11 mission stalled at around $650,000. 

Aldrin, 92, said it just “felt right” to sell the historic items.

“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,” Aldrin said.

On July 20, the 53rd anniversary of the Apollo mission, Aldrin paid tribute to the historic flight on Twitter.  

“July 20, 1969, the world witnessed one of the most important achievements in history-humans walking on the moon. Neil, Michael & I were proud to represent America as we took those giant leaps for mankind. It was a moment which united the world and America’s finest hour.” he tweeted. 

Ever the space enthusiast, Aldrin also encouraged fans to grab a telescope and prepare for “a good show” in August. 

“One doesn’t have to travel to the Moon to see some truly amazing sights, and we may have one coming up this week in the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower,” Aldrin tweeted. “Get your telescopes focused for August, we might have a good show.”

The son of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong sold similar memorabilia in 2019, bringing in $12 million. The auction raised eyebrows, but a law signed by President Barack Obama in 2012 made it clear that he did nothing wrong. Crew members from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions have “full ownership rights” over items they gathered during their work, the law stated.