Sotheby’s ‘Space Exploration’ exhibit, auction timed to Apollo 11 anniversary

July 12 (UPI) — Sotheby’s this weekend will begin displaying items from the collections of astronauts involved in NASA’s mission to land on the moon ahead of a planned New York auction later this month.

The collection includes a variety of items used in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, including Buzz Aldrin‘s flight plan from Apollo 11, flags flown on board Apollo 9 and Apollo 10, and photographs taken by NASA senior photographer Bill Taub.

The exhibit and July 20 auction coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, in which Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first men to walk on the moon.

Sotheby’s said the collection explores the collections of “several of the astronauts who risked their lives in the pursuit of President John F. Kennedy‘s ambitious and dramatic goal of ‘landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth … .”

From the collection of Russell Schweickart, lunar module pilot for Apollo 9, are a silver commemorative medallion, a U.S flag and a U.N. flag, each of which flew on the mission. Jim Lovell‘s orbital charts and a cloth emblem from Apollo 13 also are included, as well as John Young‘s flags from Apollo 10, and a piece of the heat shield and an insignia patch from Gemini 10.

Several photos taken by Taub, who covered every major NASA event from the beginning of project Mercury until the end of project Apollo.

“I had the privilege to be there to record it,” Taub, who died in 2010, said in a previous interview. “I made sure I recorded it to the best of my ability, because I have a sense of history.”

Also included in the Space Exploration exhibit and auction are artworks inspired by the space programs including paintings by Alan Bean and Chesley Bonestell, and models of scientific equipment and spacecraft such as the Apollo lunar module, the Apollo capsule module and the Nimbus satellite.

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