The jacket worn by astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin on his first mission to the moon has sold for a record-breaking $2.77m (£2.3m), becoming the most valuable American space artifact ever sold at auction.
The spaceflight jacket, sold by Sotheby’s in New York on Tuesday 26th July, was worn by Aldrin in the famous Apollo 11 mission in 1969 where he was alongside Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.
Key features of the jacket include Aldrin’s name tag on the left breast above the Apollo 11 mission emblem and the iconic American flag on the left shoulder. The material the jacket is made from is known as beta cloth, and it was added within spacesuits following the death of three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967, according to Sotheby’s.
The jacket was bought by an unidentified bidder on the phone whose bid was significantly over what the auction house estimated.
Sotheby’s global head of science and popular culture, Cassandra Hatton, said: “Today’s result is a testament to the legendary career of ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and his lifelong dedication to the exploration and understanding of the universe.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside ‘Buzz’ to bring such prestigious objects to market for the first time, and today’s record-breaking outcome proves the ongoing and everlasting significance of the Apollo 11 mission, some 53 years since man first walked on the moon.”
The sale included a number of other Aldrin space memorabilia including the flight plans for Apollo 11’s mission which included the summary of the mission from launch to splashdown, selling for $819,000, and Aldrin’s Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction which sold for $277,200.