Space

Bonhams auctioning Mercury space suit and other astro-memorabilia

The sale includes memorabilia from the US and Soviet space programs
The sale includes memorabilia from the US and Soviet space programs
View 61 Images
The sale includes memorabilia from the US and Soviet space programs
1/61
The sale includes memorabilia from the US and Soviet space programs
1960s Moon globe
2/61
1960s Moon globe
Aeroassist flight model
3/61
Aeroassist flight model
Cast of Buzz Aldrin's Moon boot
4/61
Cast of Buzz Aldrin's Moon boot
Model of an Angara 5P launch vehicle
5/61
Model of an Angara 5P launch vehicle
Apollo 9 star chart
6/61
Apollo 9 star chart
Flag flown on Apollo 10
7/61
Flag flown on Apollo 10
Apollo 11 lunar chart
8/61
Apollo 11 lunar chart
Emblem flown on Apollo 11
9/61
Emblem flown on Apollo 11
Flag flown on Apollo 11
10/61
Flag flown on Apollo 11
Apollo 12 landing chart
11/61
Apollo 12 landing chart
Apollo 12 oxygen hose segments
12/61
Apollo 12 oxygen hose segments
Chewing gum flown on Apollo 15
13/61
Chewing gum flown on Apollo 15
Film cannister from Apollo 15
14/61
Film cannister from Apollo 15
Apollo Applications configuration model
15/61
Apollo Applications configuration model
Flags flown on the Apollo-Soyuz mission
16/61
Flags flown on the Apollo-Soyuz mission
Manual for the Apollo-Soyuz mission
17/61
Manual for the Apollo-Soyuz mission
Plug of an Apollo Command Module heat shield
18/61
Plug of an Apollo Command Module heat shield
Soviet cosmonaut machete
19/61
Soviet cosmonaut machete
Soviet survival kit
20/61
Soviet survival kit
Command Service Module model
21/61
Command Service Module model
Autographs of the first man in space, first woman in space, first person to walk in space, and first person to fly two space missions
22/61
Autographs of the first man in space, first woman in space, first person to walk in space, and first person to fly two space missions
Handmade globe of Jupiter
23/61
Handmade globe of Jupiter
Little joe launch vehicle model
24/61
Little joe launch vehicle model
Lunar Module strut
25/61
Lunar Module strut
Lunar Module model
26/61
Lunar Module model
Lunar Module strut
27/61
Lunar Module strut
Lunar Module support truss
28/61
Lunar Module support truss
Lunar Module truss
29/61
Lunar Module truss
Lunar Module control panel
30/61
Lunar Module control panel
Lunar Module insulating foil
31/61
Lunar Module insulating foil
Model of the Lunkhod 2 lunar probe
32/61
Model of the Lunkhod 2 lunar probe
Mercury Atlas model
33/61
Mercury Atlas model
Bolt from Liberty Bell 7
34/61
Bolt from Liberty Bell 7
Mercury space suit
35/61
Mercury space suit
Mercury star chart
36/61
Mercury star chart
The sale includes vintage telescopes, such as this 4-inch refracting telescope circa 1890
37/61
The sale includes vintage telescopes, such as this 4-inch refracting telescope circa 1890
Mir control panel
38/61
Mir control panel
NASA prototype A6L space suit
39/61
NASA prototype A6L space suit
Polaris missile nose cone eject motor
40/61
Polaris missile nose cone eject motor
Soviet Proton rocket model
41/61
Soviet Proton rocket model
Model of a Saturn IB launcher
42/61
Model of a Saturn IB launcher
Valve from a Saturn V launch vehicle
43/61
Valve from a Saturn V launch vehicle
Skylab film magazine
44/61
Skylab film magazine
Snoopy was the mascot of the Apollo 10 mission
45/61
Snoopy was the mascot of the Apollo 10 mission
Soviet high altitude helmet
46/61
Soviet high altitude helmet
Soviet hypersonic test vehicle
47/61
Soviet hypersonic test vehicle
Russian emergency space suit
48/61
Russian emergency space suit
Russian survival suit
49/61
Russian survival suit
Soviet surface-to-air missile engine
50/61
Soviet surface-to-air missile engine
Couch shock absorber flown on Soyuz 23
51/61
Couch shock absorber flown on Soyuz 23
Soyuz launch vehicle model
52/61
Soyuz launch vehicle model
Space Shuttle tea and coffee containters
53/61
Space Shuttle tea and coffee containters
Space Shuttle simulator panel
54/61
Space Shuttle simulator panel
Space Shuttle mission trousers
55/61
Space Shuttle mission trousers
Space Suit development photo
56/61
Space Suit development photo
Autographed picture of Werner Von Braun
57/61
Autographed picture of Werner Von Braun
Model of a Vostok launch vheicle
58/61
Model of a Vostok launch vheicle
Vostok capsule model
59/61
Vostok capsule model
Model of the X-15 space plane
60/61
Model of the X-15 space plane
Model of the X-30 space plane
61/61
Model of the X-30 space plane

If you've ever wanted to own a space suit from the NASA Mercury project, or maybe a pack of gum that went to the Moon, here’s your chance. On Tuesday, Bonhams auction house is selling a bumper crop of space exploration artifacts as part of its sixth annual Space History Sale in New York. The auction will see 296 lots of memorabilia from the US and Soviet space programs go on the block, including a Mercury-era space suit.

Timed to mark the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Project Gemini, whose first unmanned test flight took place on April 8, 1964, the sale includes vintage telescopes, including what may be the only pneumatic-drive telescope still in existence, hardware both flown into space and used for mission training on the ground, flags, medallions, mission patches, and stamps flown on Gemini and Apollo missions, as well as Soviet and American space suits, Soviet survival gear, historic items autographed by astronauts and cosmonauts, a special collection of lots highlighting photography of the history of spaceflight, and even dehydrated tea and coffee from the Space Shuttle missions still in their futuristic containers.

According to Bonhams, this sale is notable for including some very rare models of spacecraft and launch vehicles made by the contractors for internal use. These include detailed models of a Vostok launcher and capsule, a Saturn IB rocket, the Little Joe booster used for unmanned tests of the Apollo spacecraft, a Mercury Atlas rocket, a Mercury Redstone, a Gemini Titan, and contractor models of a Lunar Module, the Apollo Command Service Module, and X-15 and X-30 spaceplanes. There are even models of machines that may be used on future missions, such as the Angara 5P designed to launch future manned spacecraft, a model Aeroassist reentry prototype developed in the 1980s and may one day be be adapted for Mars missions, and a Soviet hypersonic laboratory test vehicle

Model of a Vostok launch vheicle
Model of a Vostok launch vheicle

For those who prefer the “real deal,” there’s a Mir control panel that flew on the Soviet-era space station, a shock absorber from a couch used on the Soyuz 23 mission, and a Soviet surface-to-air missile engine. The Americans haven’t been left out either. Bonhams is selling a collection of Gemini and Apollo mission patches, including four rare Gemini patches that flew on actual missions. In addition, there are parts from a Saturn V rocket and Polaris missile, a bolt from a Mercury space capsule, a plug from the heat shield of an Apollo Command Module, as well as manuals, maps, charts, checklists, and other ephemera signed by the astronauts.

If you have an Apollo Lunar Module lying idle in your backyard, you can buy a collection of spare parts, including struts, spars, a control panel, and a swatch of the aluminized plastic insulation used to wrap the Lunar Modules to protect them on the Moon. This is a particular find because the wrapping actually used for the missions has long disintegrated to powder under decades of the harsh lunar sunshine. Speaking of dust, there’s also a strap from Apollo 12 up for auction that still contains moon dust. If you prefer something more tasty, there’s an unused packet of chewing gum that went to the Moon on Apollo 15.

Cast of Buzz Aldrin's Moon boot
Cast of Buzz Aldrin's Moon boot

If “One small step for man” is more your thing, you can get a plaster cast of a print made by the boot Buzz Aldrin wore on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

But the centerpiece of the sale has to be the spacesuits. These lots include a Russian emergency suit similar to those worn today on Soyuz flights to the International Space Station, a prototype of an outer covering for Apollo spacesuits used to protect against abrasion and micrometeorites, and the highlight of the sale: A Phase 2 Mercury-era spacesuit.

Mercury space suit
Mercury space suit

The Mercury suit is by no means complete. This is the silver-painted outer cover of the suit without the inner rubber pressure lining. Based on the BF Goodrich Mark IV pressure suit developed for the US Navy, this suit was designed to protect the first Mercury astronauts in the event their space capsule suddenly lost air pressure. In that situation, the suit would inflate and provide a portable environment for the astronaut to protect them until the craft could get back to Earth.

The suit up for auction is an early model with a "widow’s peak" fiberglass helmet with an aluminum sealing ring and a hinged polycarbonate visor, gloves, and mock-up boots. The fabric is aluminized nylon, though this is worn away in spots, so you can see patches of red and green, betraying its military origins.

Despite a cracked visor and the odd bit of wear and tear, Bonhams estimates that it will fetch between US$8,000 and $12,000.

Source: Bonhams

1 comment
ei3io
Much of the original one of a kind artifacts really belong at the Air&Space Museum. I bought a Gemini [looking] training suit back in the early 70s. It has nearly identical hardware items on it but it was not capable of space even though it could suffocate a user were it not for the safety valves in the helmet.