Bonhams’ annual Space History Sale, conducted on Thursday in New York City, totaled $1.2 million, with two of the most-expensive items being spacesuits worn by two cosmonauts. The biggest hit was the space suit worn by Alexei Leonov on his 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission. It was the first time that the Americans and the Soviets met in space with their spaceships. Leonov’s Sokol K Spacesuit has sold for a tremendous $242,000, exceeding its presale estimate of between $100,000 and $150,000.
On the other hand, Soyuz TM-10 space suit, worn by Gennadi Strekalov during a 1990 mission to the Mir space station, managed to sell for $67,100. It was expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000. This suit has spent 130 days in space.
The second-highest sale at Bonhams’ Space sale was that of a flight-plan page from the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. The sheet, with extensive notes by astronauts James Lovell and Fred Haise, went for $111,020, about three times what was expected. Another highlight from Space History Sale was Scott’s Lunar Surface Stopwatch, which remains unsold as of now. It was expected to sell for between $120,000 and $180,000.
Bonhams’ space auction was held to coincide with the anniversary of NASA’s first human spaceflight,Freedom 7, on May 5, 1961. This spaceflight made Alan Shepard the first American in space.