A jacket worn in space by one of the world's most famous astronauts is expected to fetch bids starting at $1 million as Sotheby's facilitates the sale at action of one of the only garments used in space flight that is still in private possession. The jacket and other items could nab around $2 million as estimates have it.
The jacket was worn by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission, which was "humanity's first lunar-landed mission," as Sotheby's put it.
The 92-year-old Aldrin is auctioning off a plethora of other items from his career, which date back to his time as a student at the United States Military Academy. The items include the Eagle lunar module's circuit breaker switch, which broke during the mission and could have caused Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to become stuck on the Moon.
Aldrin said, "I hope that this collection offers some insight into what it has been like to be Buzz Aldrin."
Sotheby's called the list of items "among the most significant and valuable space exploration artifacts ever offered at auction." Other items in the collection are also expected to garner bids of over $1 million as well.
Aldrin said in a press statement, "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."
One of the most interesting items going up for auction is an old brushed aluminum black felt-tipped ink pen. It was flown to the Moon and used in that mission. It is credited with saving Aldrin and his fellow astronaut after that circuit breaker switch was broken.
When the accident happened, Aldrin is recorded as calling back to NASA to say, "Houston, Tranquility. Do you have a way of showing the configuration of the engine arm circuit breaker? Over. The reason I'm asking is because the end of it appears to be broken off. I think we can push it back in again. I'm not sure we could pull it out if we pushed it in, though. Over.”
Aldrin said after considering selling the items for a long time, he hopes that the "various artifacts" can be shared to "offer some insight into what it has been like to be Buzz Aldrin."