Space memorabilia: One giant sale for Christie's
One of the items for sale is Neil Armstrong's Apollo spacesuit. Expected selling price $60,000 to $80,000
August 31, 1999
Web posted at: 5:25 p.m. EDT (2125 GMT)
(CNN) -- A space suit worn by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is among the items that will go on the auction block next month when Christie's East offers its first-ever Space Exploration sale.
The expected price for the space suit (not the one he wore on the moon) could be as high as $80,000.
About half of the items to be sold came from a collector who gathered space memorabilia for 15 years, and the rest came from astronauts and other collectors, said Richard Austin, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's East in Manhattan.
"I thought the material was incredibly interesting," Austin said. "I've been quite surprised by the number of people calling up who just want to hear about it and the number of people who are calling to bid on at least one item."
|BROWSE A FEW ITEMS FOR SALE|
The sale is dedicated to artifacts of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and subsequent space missions, with a number of Russian and Soviet space items thrown in.
The 30th anniversary this summer of the first lunar landing, the recent release of "Star Wars: Episode One" and the collector's decision to sell his loot were part of what sparked the sale, Austin said. The collector does not want to be named, Austin said.
"It's the last year before the millennium ends, so it's a nice time to do (this auction)," Austin said. "The 20th century probably will be remembered for man first exploring space."
The auction also will feature material from Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin; NASA astronauts L. Gordon Cooper, Walter Cunningham, Edgar Mitchell, Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford; and the Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Pete Conrad and Deke Slayton estates.
Slayton's Omega Speedmaster, an 18-carat gold commemorative wristwatch, is expected to fetch up to $12,000.
Also for sale are flight plans, mission plans and operation manuals from the Apollo program, Grissom's Apollo 1 notebook, checklists for Apollo 11 that were flown to the lunar surface and a Soviet space suit from 1960.
Viewings are set for September 11-17, and bidding will start at 2 p.m. on September 16.
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