LOS ANGELES (AP) — A strip of fabric shorn from the flag planted on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts pulled in a top bid of $60,000 at a Los Angeles auction, but didn’t meet a minimum price so it won’t be sold.
Auctioneer Michael Orenstein says there was a reserve price of $95,000 at the Sunday auction for the seven-inch strip that was pulled from the trash before the 1969 lunar landing by NASA engineer Tom Moser.
Moser, who is now retired, was tasked with preparing the flag to be planted on the moon, and the strip he rescued was cut off to remove a set of grommets so the banner could be placed on a rod.
Orenstein says he was not disappointed by the auction because there was no way to anticipate the value of such a rare item.
Other items at the space-themed auction met or surpassed expectations including a Collier trophy — the so-called Oscar of aviation — that was awarded to the crew of 1962’s Mercury 7 mission and sold Sunday for $12,500.