A second batch of Neil Armstrong memorabilia goes up for auction this week while a third sale in July will help mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing.
Mark Armstrong said his father’s mementos included ones “that make you think, items that make you laugh and items that make you scratch your head.”
A first sale in November brought in more than $7.4 million, a majority — $5.2 million — for items personally owned by the first man to walk on the moon July 20, 1969.
Items in the auction include Armstrong’s own Apollo 11 flag, an 18-inch by x 11-1/2-inch silk U.S. flag, which was the largest carried to the moon and back, and a Western Union telegram to Armstrong at his Wapakoneta homecoming celebration from President Richard Nixon.
As with the first auction, this week’s also includes pieces of a wing and propeller from the Wright brothers’ plane that made the world’s first powered flight and flew again to the moon just 66 years later in July 1969 aboard Apollo 11.
The Space Exploration Auction will also feature rarities from several other moonwalkers and NASA space pioneers, including from the collection of Buzz Aldrin, who followed Armstrong to the moon’s powdery surface.
An identification plate from the Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle fetched the highest price during the first auction — $468,500.
“The material that flew with Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin and Mr. (Michael) Collins are going to always be among the most coveted of space memorabilia,” said Todd Imhof, executive vice president of Heritage Auctions.
Mark Armstrong said each astronaut is allowed to pack items in a “PPK,” or “Personal Preference Kit.”
NASA regulations limit the size of the kit and and weight of its contents. Sixty days before launch, astronauts must provide for approval a list of proposed mementos and who will receive them.
The thousands of artifacts in the collection chronicled the life and career of Armstrong, who was raised in Wapakoneta and lived quietly outside Lebanon after becoming a national hero commanding the mission.
The famous astronaut died in 2012 at age 82.
Armstrong’s Boy Scouts cap sold at the first auction, while his Explorer Manual and a number of scout patches are up for bidding this round.
Two pieces of spruce from the 1903 Wright Flyer’s propeller and four pieces of muslin from its left wing were sold during the first auction. The propeller fragments brought $275,000 each and the fabric pieces ranged in price from $112,500 up to $175,000.
About 2,450 bidders sought artifacts during November bidding, according to the company.
The Armstrong Family Collection Part III will be held July 16 just days before the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon.