RARE photos from NASA, including the only photograph of Neil Armstrong on the moon, sell at auction for more than $2 million (€1.69 million).
The 2,400 photos, spanning a number of historic missions, were sold in an online sale with Christie’s, and include other iconic images such as Laika the dog sitting in a space capsule or Buzz Aldrin taking a selfie with planet Earth behind him.
The images capture “the golden age of space exploration,” Christie’s auction house said in a press release.
Some of the images are now iconic, like the “Blue Marble” picture taken by the crew of the Apollo 17, the first fully illuminated photo of Earth taken by a human in space.
Others were not released by NASA when they were taken and had never been seen by the general public.
The most expensive of them was the only existing photo of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, taken by Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. It sold for €58,924, according to the auction house.
The images were captured when photography was still analogue, requiring “light-sensitive chemistry, film and photographic papers,” said the press release. “Through their cameras, the astronauts-turned-artists were able to convey to mankind the beauty and profundity of their experience into space, forever changing the way we see ourselves and our place in the universe,” it added.
For decades, the unreleased photos were kept in the archives of the Manned Spacecraft Centre in Houston, Texas, and could only be accessed by accredited researchers.
The items, assembled over the course of 15 years by private collector Victor Martin-Malburet, have been exhibited in museums around the world.
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