Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin's jacket sells in auction for $3.6m

The jacket is part of a collection that US astronaut Buzz Aldrin decided to put up for sale. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - The jacket worn by US astronaut Buzz Aldrin during his 1969 flight to the Moon aboard Apollo 11 was sold at auction for US$2.7 million (S$3.6 million) in New York Tuesday (July 26), Sotheby's announced.

The white jacket, adorned with an American flag, Nasa's initials, a patch for the Apollo 11 mission and the name "E. ALDRIN," is part of a personal collection of items the 92-year-old astronaut decided to put up for sale.

"The exceptionally rare garment was chased by multiple bidders for almost ten minutes before selling to a bidder on the phone," Sotheby's said in a statement.

"After deep consideration, the time felt right to share these items with the world, which for many are symbols of a historical moment, but for me have always remained personal mementos of a life dedicated to science and exploration," Mr Aldrin, the last living member of Apollo 11's three-member flight crew, said in a statement last week.

He explained the jacket was separate from the spacesuit he wore while walking on the moon with fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong, but that he wore it while flying to and from the Moon.

"I wore this Inflight Coverall Jacket... in the Command Module Columbia, on our historic journey to the Moon and back home again during the Apollo 11 mission," Mr Aldrin said.

The suits worn on the Moon by Mr Aldrin and Mr Armstrong are part of the National Air and Space Museum's collections in Washington.

In total, the New York auction garnered US$8.2 million for 68 items sold out of the 69 offered, including $819,000 for a flight plan.

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