It’s just a plain white bag marked with the words “lunar sample return,” all in capital letters, a slight tear in the middle and a layer of grayish dust on the inside. All and all, unremarkable.
But this unassuming relic, up for auction at Sotheby’s auction house in New York, has quite a tantalizing history, including theft, subterfuge, government error, a federal court battle and — oh, yes — a featured appearance during one of the most well-known space missions in United States history.
The bag, which was used by Neil Armstrong himself to collect lunar samples on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission is expected to fetch anywhere from $2 million to $4 million at auction Thursday, according to Sotheby’s website.
That makes for one huge profit, considering it was originally purchased for only $995.
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