Three samples of the lunar rock taken during the Soviet drone mission in 1970 were purchased in much for 855,000 dollars, at an auction organized by Sotheby's auction house in New York on Thursday.
These fragments, taken on Earth by mission Luna-16, was initially offered to the wife of Sergei Korolev, regarded as the father of the Soviet space program and who died in 1966.
The final price, which includes fees and expenses, is almost twice as expected ($ 442,500) in the first sale of these samples, also in Sotheby's.
The selling price puts it in the middle of the estimated offer of the auction house, which ranged between 700,000 and one million dollars.
According to Sotheby's, those offered in late November are the only ones of all the moons specified by the moon, and US and Soviet missions that are not owned by a government.
A sign that lunar missions have a strong attraction among collectors was the auction of a case that Neil Armstrong used to collect the first lunar samples it collected for $ 1.8 million in Sotheby's sale in New York in July 2017
Although China has managed to put a moon module in 2013, the only samples that have been taken on the Earth to date come from missions from the United States and the Soviet Union.
The United States did not return there after the Apollo 17 mission was in 1972, and Russia was not on the Moon since the end of the Soviet era and the Luna-24 flight in 1976.
NASA plans to return by crew in 2023, and China plans to build a population base on the moon.
Prior to that, a private Israeli non-profit organization wants to send in a December unmanned module, whose landing on the moon is scheduled for mid-February 2019.
Follow us on Twitter …