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Apollo 11 dust bag sells for $1.8 million

Neil Armstrong on lunar surface
A view from the Apollo 11 lunar module shows mission commander Neil Armstrong collecting a sample of lunar dust and rocks. At his feet is the handle for the sample collection tool. (NASA Photo / Andy Chaikin / CollectSpace.com)

The 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing was payday for a Chicago-area lawyer who latched onto a moondirt sample bag from the mission and wouldn’t let go.

The Sotheby’s auction house said the 8-by-12-inch bag was sold to an undisclosed buyer for more than $1.8 million, including the buyer’s premium. That’s a bit less than the pre-sale estimate of $2 million to $4 million, but notable for historical reasons as well as the price.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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