A personal collection celebrating Buzz Aldrin is to be offered at Sotheby’s later this month in a landmark auction that celebrates the “life and career of the legendary astronaut”.
The collection will be called Buzz Aldrin: American Icon and arrive on 26 July. Among the items listed are space-flown artefacts from both the Gemini XII and Apollo 11 missions, personal belongings of Aldrin, and other objects from Aldrin’s career. The flight jacket worn to the moon and back is among the items.
Now 92, Buzz Aldrin’s name was forever etched into the history books in 1969, when he and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the moon.
The Sotheby’s collection has belongings from the beginning to end of his career, with some expected to fetch millions of dollars. As well as the flight jacket, both the “fabled broken circuit breaker switch that could have ended the lives of the crew by stranding them in space” and “the felt tip pen Aldrin used to ignite the engine in place of the broken switch” are for sale.
As well as the physical items for sale, “select lots from the sale” will also be accompanied by a MIRAImage™ NFT. It is 2022, after all. The “unique digital identifier is linked to its physical object using novel microscopic 3D scanning technology and advanced mathematical techniques that extract the object’s identifying ‘DNA’”, Sotheby’s explains. It marks the first time that MIRA technology will be applied to objects sold at auction. “After a scan is generated, the NFT will be minted by MIRA to the Ethereum blockchain, forever recording these micro level details.”
Speaking ahead of the sale, Aldrin said: “This collection is a summation of my career as an astronaut, from my studies at West Point, to my first EVA during Gemini XII, to humankind’s first lunar landing on Apollo 11 where we planted the American flag, and a bit beyond. 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.
“From the jacket that I wore on my trip to the Moon and back, to the famous broken circuit breaker switch that nearly ended our lives, and the pen that saved us, to various artefacts we used to complete the mission, I hope that this collection offers some insight into what it has been like to be Buzz Aldrin.”
The sale will be a highlight of Sotheby’s Geek Week and the public will be able to see the items for sale before they go live at auction. They’re on show at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries in New York from 21 – 25 July.
Image Credit: Sotheby’s