The jacket was offered by Sotheby’s, as part of the Buzz Aldrin: American Icon event, with lots comprised of items from Aldrin’s personal collection. They included anything from flight plans and assorted documents, an earpiece and the “pen that saved Apollo 11,” and a water dispenser that could also serve as a fire hydrant. The event closed at $8.2 million in sales, with the jacket being the highest-priced item.
The jacket went for $2.7 million, including auction fees. Bidding started at $500,000, with the highest estimate set by the auction house at $2 million – and clearly surpassed. “And that is a world record for any space flown artifact,” Quig Bruning, Sotheby's head of jewels for the Americas and the auctioneer for the event, says, as cited by Collect Space.
“We are very pleased to announce that his sale has now reset the world record for the most valuable space exploration sale ever held, which was previously set here on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 [in 2019],” Bruning added. “So congratulations.”
The jacket was accompanied by a letter from Aldrin, which explained that he wore the Inflight Coverall Garments (ICGs), including jacket, pants and boots made of Beta cloth, after changing out of the pressure garment after the Translunar Injection. When the auction was announced, the jacket was the only garment item from Apollo 11 available for private ownership, since those belonging to the other crew members are located at the National Air & Space Museum Collections.
When you consider all of the above, $2.7 million for a 1969 jacket is actually too little, because this was a collector’s dream space memorabilia.