A Neil Armstrong signed photograph taking mankind's 'giant leap' sold $91,451, according to Boston-based RR Auction
The glossy 10 x 8 photo of Neil Armstrong just before setting foot on the lunar surface signed, "Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11."
Captured from NASA's original video transmission of the historic event, this is one of the most recognizable images of the lunar landing: Armstrong taking his first step onto the landing pad, seconds before delivering what is arguably the most famous quote of the 20th century. As the Apollo 11 astronauts touched down on the moon and the first television transmissions made it to earth, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California was called to work.
Responsible for altering the images to photo film, the photo development team there was first to see and handle most of the now-famous images. In appreciation for his hard work, NASA gave the man in charge of the JPL this photo, one of very few images of Armstrong on the lunar surface (as the man behind the camera, he is absent from almost all photos from the landing).
As coincidence would have it, the technician's sister lived in the same neighborhood as Neil and Jan Armstrong in Bethesda, Maryland, and on a family visit he was introduced to the astronaut and his wife. A very gracious Armstrong gladly signed this photo, which has been in the possession of the family of the head of NASA's Photo Department Richard Windmiller, Sr. until now. Uninscribed and boldly signed with his name and the scarce addition of "Apollo 11," this represents the pinnacle of Armstrong signed photos.
"Because there was only a black and white video camera recording of Armstrong's first step, this photo is extremely significant because it was made at the time from the original video footage." said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:
Lunar Meteorite NWA 12691 sold for $81,251.
Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Lunar Module Activation Checklist sold for $55,998.
Gene Cernan's Mission-critical cue cards for the first Extravehicular Activities of Apollo 17 sold for $55,368.
Jo Schirra's Mercury Era Flown charm bracelet sold for $55,000.
Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Lunar Orbited Flight Plan Page sold for $51,878.
Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Flown Robbins Medal sold for $37,500.
Apollo 15 Flown Jim Irwin "IV Crewmen Tether" sold for $34,787.
The Space Exploration & Aviation featuring from RR Auction began April 15 and concluded April 22