The only known moon rocks publically available to be auctioned by Sotheby’s

If the love of your life asks for the moon, you can now actually do that. Okay, not exactly the moon but the next best thing – an actual moon rock. And, you’ll have to bid on it at an upcoming Sotheby’s auction where it is expected to fetch over a million dollars. What makes it special is that it is described as “the only known documented samples of the moon available for private ownership.” The auction house will be putting three tiny moon rocks up for bid that were collected by the Soviet Union’s robotic Luna 16 lander and returned to the Earth in September 1970. In the United States, it’s illegal to buy and sell moon rocks retrieved from the lunar surface during the Apollo missions. however, the sample up for auction was gifted to the widow of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, one of the early designers and directors of the Soviet space program in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1993, Sotheby’s auctioned these “Soil Particles From Luna-16” off for $400,000.

The display up for auction contains three grains of the Luna 16 material, weighing about 0.0007 ounces (0.2 grams). According to Sotheby’s, the central fragment is basalt, which is typical of the moon’s sea terrain while the two larger fragments are regolith with glass coatings caused by a micrometeoroid impact. It will go on auction on 29th November and the auction house estimates it to fetch between $700,000 and $1 million.


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