Buzz Aldrin's 1969 moon jacket becomes most valuable US artefact at auction after selling for £2.3m
The jacket worn by Buzz Aldrin on his first mission to the moon in 1969 has been sold for more than £2 million - becoming the most valuable American artefact ever sold at auction.
Displaying Aldrin's name tag on the left breast above the Apollo 11 mission emblem, the jacket is made of a fire-resistant material known as Beta cloth.
The article was sold by Sotheby's in New York as part of a space exploration sale from which the items achieved a total of $8.2m (£6.8m).
Sotheby's said Buzz Aldrin: American Icon was "the most important space exploration collection to come to market" and the 92-year-old had "carefully preserved the materials since his mission".
Aldrin's jacket sold for $2,772,500 (£2,303,254) and was purchased by an anonymous bidder, who participated in the auction by phone.
According to Sotheby's, the Beta cloth used to make Aldrin's jacket had been included in spacesuits in response to the fire that killed three astronauts aboard Apollo 1 in 1967.
Other notable prices achieved during the sale of 69 personal items included the Apollo 11 summary flight plan containing a complete record of the entire Apollo 11 mission, from launch to splashdown.
The nine-page booklet encloses the full timeline of the mission, including descriptions of the lunar module landing, the lunar surface EVA (moonwalk) and lift off from the moon.
It sold for a total of $819,000 (£680,384), over five times its presale high estimate.
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Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby's Global Head of Science & Popular Culture, said: "Today's result is a testament to the legendary career of Buzz Aldrin and his lifelong dedication to the exploration and understanding of the universe.
"It has been a privilege to work alongside Buzz to bring such prestigious objects to market for the first time, and today's record-breaking outcome proves the ongoing and everlasting significance of the Apollo 11 mission, some 53 years since man first walked on the moon."
Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first astronauts to walk on the moon on 20 July 1969.