11 Relics Of Space History That You Can Buy

The first auction since Congress passed a law allowing astronauts to sell their mission souvenirs features the Space Magna Carta, a rocket engine and a lot of signed memorabilia.
A fisheye view of Charles Conrad and Alan Bean at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, training for the second manned Moon landing attempt. Courtesy Bonhams

When astronaut James Lovell put his Apollo 13 Lunar Module Activation Checklist up for auction in Dallas last year, the artifact sold for a record $388,375 — and got him in hot water with NASA, which said that he didn’t have the right to sell it in the first place. Finally, in September, Congress passed a law granting astronauts from Mercury, Gemini and Apollo-era missions full rights over any artifacts they received.

On Monday, Bonhams auction house in New York is hosting the first sale of space-related artifacts since the law’s passage. Up for auction is a deluge of memorabilia from the history of flight and space exploration, including signed photos, rocket engines, spacecraft models, even random space-suit parts. If you’ve got $70,000 to spare, you might consider putting in a bid on the Space Magna Carta, a certificate symbolizing the end of the space race, or perhaps a few relics from the first mission to the moon — like a disc carrying messages of goodwill from Earth to our alien friends.

We collected a few of the most intriguing items below. You can check out the full catalog here.

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