The jacket Buzz Aldrin wore on his historic first mission to the moon's surface in 1969 has been auctioned off to a bidder for nearly $2.8 million. The $2,772,500 paid for the Apollo 11 Inflight Coverall Jacket is the highest for any American space-flown artifact sold at auction, according to Sotheby's, which handled the sale. The unidentified winning bidder, who participated by phone, outlasted several others in a bidding that spanned almost 10 minutes., the AP reports. The jacket displays Aldrin’s name tag on the left breast above the Apollo 11 mission emblem, and the American flag on the left shoulder.
It is made of a fire-resistant material known as Beta cloth that was incorporated in spacesuits in response to the fire that killed three astronauts aboard Apollo 1 in 1967, according to Sotheby's. Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first astronauts to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. The auction, which Sotheby's called the "most valuable single space exploration auction ever staged," brought in a total of more than $8 million, the New York Times reports.
Other items included a flight plan of the Apollo mission, which sold for $819,000. The only one of the 69 lots that didn't sell consisted of a broken circuit that nearly stranded the astronauts and the pen Aldrin used to fix it, the Times reports. "The time felt right to share these items with the world, which for many are symbols of a historical moment, but for me have always remained personal mementos of a life dedicated to science and exploration," Aldrin, 92, said in a statement. (Read more Buzz Aldrin stories.)