Heritage Auctions is putting 300 photos from the NASA Apollo space missions up for sale to the highest bidder. Curated by spaceflight historian J.L. Pickering, the auction will feature vintage prints and negative film strips.
The auction will be held on 24 September 2021, but proxy bids are already open. Pictures are expected to go for anything from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on content and rarity. In November 2020, a photo of Neil Armstrong on the moon was auctioned in a set of 2,400 photos. Collectively, they sold for a total of £1,564,876 or roughly $2,165,004.
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The images and film strips have been collected by Pickering during his 50-year career. Renowned as one of the most avid archivists of space memorabilia, his own personal collection consists of more than 100,000 images. The auction will be selling off 300 photos from the Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 missions.
Although many of these images are available for free to the general public online, owning the physical prints and negatives is sure to be a collector's dream. The Apollo missions were designed to land humans on the moon and return them safely to Earth. 15 missions took place between 1967 and 1972, but only six actually landed on the moon. Many of the photos were taken on a modified Hasselblad 500C.
In order to make the camera lighter, it had its leather covering, auxiliary shutter, reflect mirror and viewfinder removed. A new film magazine was also constructed enabling it to capture 70 exposures rather than the usual 12.
You can view the images and filmstrips included in the auction on the Heritage Auctions website (opens in new tab). The photographs range from shots taken inside the spacecraft, to rugged pictures of the earth's surface to iconic moments of man on the moon. No matter which image is your favorite, there's no denying that they're all out of this world.