Rare artifacts going on the block at the Space Exploration Auction on November 2 include astronaut Ed White II’s prized personal West Point class ring:
The NASA image of him in the ocean waiting to be lifted out of the Gemini 4 spacecraft clearly shows this ring on his hand. He had worn it on the mission and during America’s first spacewalk. It was returned to the family after his tragic death in the Apollo 1 launch pad accident. His son has handwritten a letter of authenticity. Included with it are ten tiny mustard seeds that he had carried in his spacesuit pocket during his Gemini 4 EVA as a sign of his religious faith.
The balance of material in the auction comes from all fields of space collecting: autographs, flown material & equipment, Robbins & Fliteline medallions, hardware, history, original art, signed art prints, coins, currency, and stamps.
Bits of the Moon itself will be up for bid at a different auction October 14 at the Fletcher Sinclair Mansion in New York City. The headliner of this stellar event is a four pound lunar specimen — the largest piece of the Moon ever to be auctioned. It’s expected to bring $340,000+.
According to a Heritage Auctions consultant, only 135 pounds of the Moon is available to the public, excluding Apollo mission material.