For collectors, space memorabilia opens up memories of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, or George Jetson flying to his in-the-sky home in a glass pod. This week marks the anniversary of man landing on the moon, which means auction and websites are highlighting space collectibles. Whether Apollo or Gemini program items, NASA memorabilia, moon rocks, meteors, space robots or items being sold from Elon Musk’s “SpaceX” flights, the opportunities are as vast as, well, outer space. The “Space Race” between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) began on Oct. 4, 1957, when the USSR launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth. Ultimately, the “race” finished on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. Space travel continues with the battle of the billionaires starting to explore tourism in space. The recent creation of a 6th independent U.S. military service branch, the “Space Force,” has brought it back to mainstream conversation.
Here are our top 5 picks of space-related memorabilia:
A 70-pound meteorite from Arizona sold for $237,500 in 2018.
Moon dust from the Apollo 11 Lunar mission was misidentified and sold in a US government forfeiture auction for $995. The lucky purchaser sold it a few years later for $1.8 million.
Gang of Five Robots
Any member of the gang of five robot sells for high prices. The mechanical robots were made in Japan in the 1950s and early ’60s by Masudaya. They include: Machine Man, Radicon, Giant Sonic, Non Stop and Target. A mint in the box machine man robot, found by a man while cleaning his mother’s attic, sold for $159,900 in 2020.
Apollo 11 Memorabilia
The actual Apollo 11 lunar module spacecraft identification plate sold in 2018 for $380,000.
A vintage 1963 The Jetsons lunch box and thermos brought $3,500 in 2021, more than 7 times its high estimate. The lunch box is lithographed tin and made by Aladdin.
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