This isn’t space junk: Neil Armstrong’s personal artifacts go to auction

Bidding will begin next week on a collection of Neil Armstrong’s personal memorabilia and artifacts — including fragments of the Wright brothers’ 1903 flyer taken to the moon and back by the first man to set foot there.

More than 2,000 items are being sold at auction by the family of Armstrong, a favorite Ohio son from Wapakoneta and the Apollo 11 crew commander.

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“There will be flown items, autographed items and items of historical significance,” said the famous astronaut’s son Mark Armstrong. “There will be items that make you think, items that make you laugh and items that make you scratch your head.”

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

The Armstrong Family Collection includes pieces of a wing and propeller from the Wright brothers’ plane that made the world’s first powered flight and flew again to the moon in July 1969 aboard Apollo 11.

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A small American flag and a silk 1869-1969 centennial flag from Armstrong’s alma mater, Purdue University, that both went to the moon and back with Armstrong are in a lot.

The American flag is estimated to sell for $300,000 or more, according to Heritage Auctions. The Wright Flyer propeller pieces could go for $90,000 or more while the pre-auction estimates for the multiple wing fabric fragments range between $50,000 and $70,000.

The collection chronicling the life and career Armstrong, who lived outside Lebanon after leaving NASA, includes his Boy Scouts cap, a gold pin from Gemini VIII, and historic correspondence about the planning that went into the moon mission.

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Items will be sold by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions in a series of sales: November 1-2, 2018; May 9-10, 2019; and November 2019. Items in Part 1 of the Armstrong Family Collection sale can be found at the Heritage Auctions website.

Armstrong died in 2012 at age 82.

“He was never about himself, so I would expect that he didn’t give much thought about how he would be remembered,” son Rick Armstrong said. “With that being said, I think he would be pleased to be remembered as being part of a program that demonstrated amazing things can be achieved when people come together to dedicate themselves towards a common goal.”

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