In the picture, lunar champions Sotheby's say are the only known and documented private hands of a Soviet mission, in New York, in the United States. Courtesy of Sotheby & # 39; s / Handout via REUTERS
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Space-savvy lovers of space will have the opportunity to grab three small particles of lunar material when they come out in November to auction what Sotheby & # 39; s describes as the only ones documented "lunar rocks" that can be legally in their hands. private.
Sotheby & # 39; s said today that he expects the fragments, recovered from the moon by a Soviet space mission in 1970, to reach between 700,000 and a million dollars in the auction on November 29 in New York.
The pieces – a fragment of basalt, similar to most of the volcanic rock on Earth, and pieces of surface particles known as regulated – are sold by an unidentified private American collector who bought them in 1993.
Sotheby & # 39; s stated in a statement that they were first sold in 1993 by Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, widow of the former director of the Soviet space program Sergei Pavlovich Korolev.
The fragments, ranging in size from 2 x 2 mm to 1 x 1 mm, were a gift for her from the Soviet Union in recognition of her husband's contributions to the program.
Sotheby & # 39; s said that the particles, encapsulated in a crystal with a Russian plate, are the only specimen of the moon that has been officially donated to a private individual, and that its provenance is available for private ownership .
Collectors pay huge sums for space exploration objects. Last year, Sotheby & # 39; s sold for $ 1.8 million a bag with the words Lunar Sample Return with lunar dust that Neil Armstrong used for the first manned mission on the Moon in 1969.
Curated by Jill Serjeant and Kim Coghill; Translated by Blanca Rodríguez