Buzz Aldrin Jacket, Medal, Space Gear sells for $8.2 million at auction

  • An auction of Buzz Aldrin items related to the Apollo 11 and Gemini XII missions has raised over $8 million.
  • This included a jacket worn by Aldrin to and from the moon and his Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • A 2012 law clarified that members of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions have “full ownership” of their artifacts.

Buzz Aldrin sold a treasure trove of space memorabilia, including his Presidential Medal of Freedom, at an auction on Tuesday that raised a total of $8,184,578.

68 items related to Aldrin’s Apollo 11 and Gemini XII spaceflights have been sold by auction house Sotheby’s.

They included a jacket worn by Aldrin on a flight to and from the moon, which cost $2,772,500.

Aldrin, 92, was the second person to walk on the moon, just after Neil Armstrong on the historic Apollo 11 flight in 1969.

Only twelve people have walked on the moon – all between 1969 and 1972 – and Aldrin is one of four still alive.

Several of Aldrin’s medals were also auctioned, including his Presidential Medal of Freedom, which sold for $277,200.

Aldrin was awarded the medal, the highest presidential honor for civilians, by President Richard Nixon in 1969.

One lot didn’t sell: a pen and a circuit breaker that helped fix a malfunction in the Apollo 11 mission. Sotheby’s expected it to sell for at least $1 million but, according to the New York Times, bidding has stalled at around $650,000.

Aldrin didn’t give many details about his decision to sell the items, saying only that it “seemed fair.” Aldrin did not specify what the money would be used for.

After careful consideration, the time seemed right to share these objects with the world, which for many are symbols of a historical moment, but for me have always remained personal memories of a life devoted to science and exploration. “, Aldrin said in a press release this week, by France 24.

Aldrin’s jacket was “the most valuable American space artifact ever sold at auction,” said a Sotheby’s auctioneer, according to The Times.

This is not the first time astronaut memorabilia has been auctioned off.

A 2019 auction that brought in $12 million caused controversy when Armstrong’s items were sold by his sons after his death.

Whether astronauts could sell their souvenirs has been questioned before, but was clarified in 2012 to make it clear that they could.

A law passed under President Barack Obama clarified that members of NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo crews have “full ownership rights” to artifacts collected from missions.

There followed a series of cases involving ownership. One such case involved Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man on the moon. In 2011, NASA sued Mitchell after he auctioned off an Apollo 14 mission camera in a case that was settled out of court.