Moon dust bag from Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 mission sells for $1.8 million at auction

The lunar bag Neil Armstrong used to bring back the first moon dust samples in 1969 sold at auction for $1.8 million.

The bag has had several owners over the past years. Its last sale ignited a legal battle between NASA and a Chicago-area woman. Nancy Carlson, the previous owner, bought the moon bag for $995 in 2015 from a Marshals Service auction site. She figured the bag was part of a past space mission, and sent it to NASA to confirm its authenticity.

When NASA tested the bag and realized it was the bag Armstrong used to bring back the first moon dust sample from Apollo 11, it wanted the bag back. While the lunar bag was stolen property, a judge honored Carlson’s purchase. And, now the lunar bag has a new owner. 

Thursday's buyer, who did not want to be identified, landed a good deal at $1.8 million considering the bag is worth an estimated $2 to $4 million.

Other items at the Sotheby’sauction, which marked the 48th anniversary of the first lunar landing, fetched well-above estimated value.

Nine Houston bidders interested in The Apollo 13 Flight Plan pushed its price up to $275,000, more than six times above its already high estimate, Sotheby’s tweeted. 

Sotheby’s also tweeted that a photograph of Buzz Aldrin taken by Armstrong sold for $35,000 seven times above the expected estimate and Man’s First Look at the Earth from the Moon sold for $17,500, three times higher than expected.

Even a Snoopy Astronaut Doll designed by Apollo 10 LM pilot got in on the action, selling for $27,500, 10 times above its estimate.

Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. He died in 2012 in Ohio.

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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