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Shooting For The Moon From The Auction Block

August 4, 2022
The flight jacket of Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, worn during the Apollo 11 mission, sold at Sotheby's New York

Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 Jacket

You might expect a nice jacket from the late 1960s to be worth a little money. But it all changes once you know who it was worn by. Sotheby’s New York auctioned off a series of items from the personal collection of the American astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Tuesday, July 26th. Aldrin, who is 92-years-old, is the only surviving astronaut of the trio who took part in the Apollo 11 mission that landed on the moon in 1969. While the entire sale was full of Aldrin-related memorabilia, the star of the show was the jacket Aldrin wore during the Apollo 11 mission. It comes adorned with Aldrin’s name badge, an American flag on the left arm, and the NASA and Apollo 11 mission insignia. Several photos were taken during the mission where Aldrin is wearing the jacket in the lunar module. The jacket sold for $2.25 million (or $2.78M w/p), slightly over its $2 million high estimate.

While the jacket was definitely the star of the sale, sixty-eight other lots were available. Among them were official documents related to both the Apollo 11 and Gemini 12 missions, some of Aldrin’s medals and other personal effects, and even small pieces of equipment taken directly from the lunar module, like a fire extinguisher and a communications earpiece. But the piece that seemed the most out-of-place was… an MTV Video Musical Award. In 1984, MTV gave Aldrin an award at the very first VMAs to commemorate the Apollo 11 mission and its impact on American culture. That and the fact that Aldrin is the Moonman the statue is modeled after. The award sold for $70K (or $88.2K w/p), ten times the minimum estimate given by Sotheby’s experts. Overall, the sale brought in around $8 million.