Apollo 11 relic owned by Illinois woman to be auctioned off
28 May, 2017, 01:30 | Author: Cecelia Webb
But NASA (which would like the bag to be in a museum) may have a chance to get it back: Sotheby's NY has announced it will be a part of their Space Exploration auction on July 20th, and they expect it will go for up to $4 million.
The full story of what happened to the bag between 1969 and now has only been revealed in the past year.
But once officials knew the bag came from the moon, they confiscated it as government property.
As the NASA space bag represents the culmination of a massive national effort which involves a generation of Americans, the NASA space pouch is expected to go very expensive for the reason that the space agency doesn't allow a person to own any bit of the moon. Among the items sold was the lunar sample bag, which was confused with another bag that did not contain moon dust.
A piece of space memorabilia once bought for less than $1,000 is expected to fetch between $2 million and $4 million at an upcoming auction.
That's when Nancy Carlson entered the picture. The government said the "rare artifact" was mistakenly sold. The bag's convoluted history includes the 2003 Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on the home of Max Ary, the former director of a Kansas space museum.
In a space-themed comedy of errors, Armstrong initially turned the zippered bag over to scientists at a Houston lab, but the United States of America space agency forgot about it over time. The government argued it had never actually transferred ownership of the bag to a private individual. It was identified as a different bag - one that had not been used to collect moon rocks - because of "a mix-up in inventory lists and item numbers", according to Marten's decision.
And so they put the bag and other space artifacts on the auction block, where Carlson snapped it up for $995.
Carlson took NASA to court and was eventually granted the right to have the bag back.
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