Metal pin flown on Apollo 11 spaceflight up for auction

A metal pin flown on the Apollo 11 spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon is expected to fetch up to £8,000 at auction.

Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin made history when they landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20 in 1969.

Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface, with Aldrin joining him about 20 minutes later.

As he stepped on the moon, Armstrong said: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

A television grab of American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first humans to step onto the Moon (PA)
A television grab of American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first humans to step onto the Moon (PA)

They were outside the spacecraft together for almost two hours and collected lunar material to bring back to Earth.

The astronauts spent 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon's surface before returning to the command module Columbia, which had been piloted by Michael Collins.

Buzz Aldrin with the US flag planted in the surface of the moon (PA)
Buzz Aldrin with the US flag planted in the surface of the moon (PA)

The yellow metal lapel or tie pin, featuring the Apollo 11 mission insignia, was flown on the mission for Nasa engineer HW Adkins.

It includes a laminated card featuring the Apollo 11 emblem above text reading: "Flown for--H. W. Adkins", with the reverse stating: "This tie tack was flown on Apollo 11, S/C 107, LM-5, July 16-24, 1969, Crew, Mr. N. Armstrong, Lt. Col. M. Collins, Col. E. Aldrin, Jr."

The laminated card that accompanies the pin flown on the Apollo 11 mission (Henry Aldridge & Son/PA)
The laminated card that accompanies the pin flown on the Apollo 11 mission (Henry Aldridge & Son/PA)

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Alridge and Son, described the pin as "an incredible piece of history".

"It's a tangible link to the most famous space mission ever and one of the most important events in the history of humankind," he said.

"It is remarkable to think it was actually onboard Apollo 11."

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon (PA)
Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon (PA)

Other items up for sale at the auction house in Devizes, Wiltshire, include an Apollo 13 lunar module flown stowage assembly strap.

The strap, taken from the stowage assembly that flew aboard the Apollo 13 lunar module Aquarius, is expected to fetch up to £5,000 at auction.

Autographs of Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins are also for sale at the auction on Saturday along with a piece of lunar rock.

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