The jacket worn by Buzz Aldrin on his first mission to the moon has become the most valuable American space artefact ever sold at auction, fetching $2.77m (£2.3m).
The article was sold by Sotheby’s in New York on Tuesday as part of the most valuable single sale of space exploration items ever staged, which achieved a total of $8.2m.
At $2,772,500, Aldrin’s also becomes the most valuable jacket ever sold at auction.
The white inflight jacket displays Aldrin’s name tag on the left breast above the Apollo 11 mission emblem and the American flag on the left shoulder. Aldrin wore it while travelling in the Apollo 11 command module Columbia, the BBC reported.
It is made of a fire-resistant material known as beta cloth that was incorporated into spacesuits in response to the fire that killed three astronauts onboard Apollo 1 in 1967, according to Sotheby’s.
The jacket was bought by an anonymous bidder who participated in the auction by phone.
“Today’s result is a testament to the legendary career of Buzz Aldrin and his lifelong dedication to the exploration and understanding of the universe,” said Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s global head of science and popular culture.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside Buzz to bring such prestigious objects to market for the first time, and today’s record-breaking outcome proves the ongoing and everlasting significance of the Apollo 11 mission, some 53 years since man first walked on the moon.”
Other notable items in the sale included the Apollo 11 summary flight plan, containing a complete summary of the entire mission from launch to splashdown. The nine-page booklet has the full timeline of the mission, including descriptions of the lunar module landing, moonwalk and lift-off from the moon. It sold for $819,000, more than five times its presale high estimate.
Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first astronauts to walk on the moon on 20 July 1969.