A bag containing traces of moon dust has sold at auction in New York City for $1.8 million.
The sale at Sotheby’s on Thursday was surrounded by some fallout from a galactic court battle.
The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969.
But the artifact from the Apollo 11 mission was misidentified and sold at an online government auction. NASA fought to get it back.
In December, a federal judge ruled that it legally belonged to a Chicago-area woman who bought it in 2015 for $995.
Sotheby’s has declined to identify the buyer who won the bag.
ORIGINAL: A bag containing traces of moon dust is heading to auction — surrounded by some fallout from a galactic court battle.
The collection bag, used by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969, will be featured Thursday at a Sotheby’s auction in New York City of items related to space voyages. The pre-sale estimate is $2 million to $4 million.
Nancy Lee Carlson of suburban Chicago bought the moon dust for $995 at a 2015 government auction.
After she sent it to Johnson Space Center for authentication, officials deemed it government property and confiscated it. The government said the “rare artifact” was mistakenly sold. It was recovered in 2003 during a criminal investigation against the director of the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson at that time, and the dust was misidentified.
After NASA fought to get it back, a federal judge ruled in December he didn’t have the authority to reverse the sale and the moon dust belonged to Carlson.
The moon dust is being auctioned on Thursday, the 48th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11.