Neil Armstrong’s bag sold for $1.8 million

Neil Armstrong’s bag sold for $1.8 million
Akhil Singh

The Historic Bag of Neil Armstrong was sold in an auction: Here is all you need to know

Everyone remembers Neil Armstrong as the first man to step on the moon. Now, his bag has come into limelight. His long-lasting space bag was sold in millions in an auction, which was conducted at the 48th anniversary of mankind’s first moon landing.

“It still contains traces of the moon dust”, Sotheby’s said. During the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, Armstrong collected nearly 500 grams of material finer than one centimetre, as well as 12 rock fragments larger than a centimetre from five different locations on the lunar surface in the region known as the Sea of Tranquility.


Given the then unknown nature of lunar material, the decontamination bag was used to minimise any potential harm the samples might pose to the Command Module and planet Earth.

The history of this bag

Almost all the equipment from that historic mission are kept in the US National Collections at the Smithsonian, as per a recent court ruling it allowed this to be the only such artefact in private hands.

It was offered three separate times in 2014 by a small auction house on behalf of the US Marshall’s service. It was re-listed in 2015, where it was sold for $995. Scientific tests which are done by NASA revealed that the dust in the bag to be moon dust, specifically from the Apollo 11 landing site, and the part number printed inside of the bag matched up to that of the “Contingency Lunar Sample Return Decontamination Bag” listed in the Apollo 11 Stowage list. The historical price was the collection of a week-long exhibition that captured the attention of thousands and thousands. Overall, auction house Sotheby’s first Space Exploration sale totalled $3.8 million with 87.3 per cent of items sold.

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