Bag of moon dust expected to fetch $4M at auction

A bag of moon dust collected by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission is headed to auction for the second time since its arrival on earth, and this time, it’s actually supposed to be sold.

The pouch was used by Armstrong in 1969 to bring back the very first samples ever collected of the moon,­ traces of which remain in the bag. It will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on July 20, the 48th anniversary of the first moon landing, and is expected to fetch between $2 million – $4 million.

It is “the most important space exploration artefact to ever come to market,” said Sotheby’s on their website, describing it as, “the only such relic available for private ownership, it is exceptionally rare.”

But NASA won’t be the ones getting a pay day, according to Mashable. After Armstrong handed over the bag to his bosses, the space agency forgot about it and years later it was mistakenly auctioned off. Nancy Lee Carlson bought the pouch along with some other space memorabilia for $995.

Carson went on to send the bag to NASA for testing, who reportedly copped to their error and tried to hold onto it, but a legal battle, NASA was ordered to return the bag in February. She reportedly plans to donate a portion of the sale proceeds to charity, and to establish a scholarship Northern Michigan University.