Items at online Apollo memorabilia auction could fetch $400,000

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter WKMG

(WKMG) - Rare collectibles from the Apollo moon missions will be available in a two-day online auction next month hosted by the American Space Museum in Titusville.

The artifacts and photographs offer a tip of the hat to Apollo 11’s legendary moon landing but also include items from the missions for Apollo 7 to 17.

Collector's dream

The auction items are a collector’s dream ranging in potential value from $150 to $7,000 or more.

Charles Jeffrey, the museum’s collections analyst, said the pieces are on consignment from private collectors and should deliver roughly $400,000 with 20% of the proceeds going to the nonprofit museum.

“Some of these are so rare that the only place you’re ever going to get one is at this auction,” Jeffrey said.

When is the auction?

Roughly 20 of the items will be up for auction at the event on Aug. 23 and 24.

What will be for sale?

A red Apollo 11 pennant with the famed “one small step for man” in white letters, is expected to get bids from $150 to $300.

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A signed photograph by all three Apollo 11 astronauts could earn $7,000. Two of only six known "Apollo 11 Guest Center" signs autographed by Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins could see a bid of $5,000 or higher.

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One of the stars of the Apollo auction is a fireproof test uniform made of a Teflon coated fabric called “beta cloth.”

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The uniforms were developed by Owens-Corning and were worn by every Apollo astronaut following the Apollo 1 fire on Jan. 27, 1967, that caused the deaths of astronauts Virgil “Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee.

“After Apollo 1 it was mandated that everything be fireproof," Jeffrey said. "Even the books they took, the playing cards, everything was Teflon-coated to make it fireproof.”

The white test “chamber suit” known as comfort wear, is in pristine condition and according to Jeffrey and could command $4,000 to $5,000 at auction.

Jeffrey has photographs of almost every item that will be online for bidding, including fabric from an Apollo spacesuit and a preliminary flight plan for Apollo 11 dated May 9, 1969.

Big-ticket item

Jeffrey hinted that he is working on acquiring a collectible that could earn as much as $70,000 to $100,000 at auction but he is still developing those details.

The complete list of items with photographs can be viewed at spacewalkoffame.org.

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