Lunar samples belonged to Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, a former Soviet spokeswoman originally
Three parts of rock restored from the moon were sold by a Soviet space mission in 1970 for $ 855,000 in a New York auction on Thursday.
Sotheby auction house said that "rocks & moon" is the only lunch issue that has been documented in private hands. I was offered for sale by an unknown private American collector who bought them in an auction in 1993 for $ 442,500.
Sotheby said the buyer on Thursday was another American private collector, but the name was not disclosed.
The auction house said before the sale that the pieces could vary in size of about .079 inches x .079 inches (2 x 2mm) to .039 inches x .039 inches (1 x 1mm ), raise up to $ 1 million.
The gray samples belonged to Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, widow's former director of Soviet space program Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. She was presented as a donation on behalf of the Soviet Union in recognition of her husband's contributions to the program, said Sotheby.
The particles were restored in September 1970 by the unmanned Luna-16, which drilled a hole in the surface to a depth of 13.8 inches (35 cm) and a core sample, the auction house said in a statement.
Most other samples known as the moon remain with both entities that they have collected: the United States during the Apollo 11-17 journeys and & # 39; The Soviet Union through the Luna-16, Luna-20, and Luna-24 journeys.
Collectors pay huge amounts for space auditing artefacts. Last year, Sotheby sold a sip bag stamped with the "Lunar Sample Return" lyrics with the moon dust used by Neil Armstrong for the first mission to attract the moon in 1969, for $ 1.8 million.