Neil Armstrong’s giant jump for humanity is on sale to the highest bidder after a private collector unleashes a treasure trove NASA Pictures from the golden age of spaceflight at auction, including the only photo taken of the first human to walk on the moon.

The July 1969 shot It is the highlight of the collection of 2,400 vintage photos across 700 items displayed on the Christie’s of London website, including The first selfie from space Written by Armstrong Apollo 11 fellow Buzz Aldrin and Epokal Sunrise Image that captured the planet emerging from the moon’s horizon.

Bidding starts at £ 100 (about $ 132) for several photos at Auction, Which is being held online due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Kristi estimates that some of the well-known photos will cost upwards of 50,000 pounds ($ 66,000) individually.

Panoramic view [Mosaic] From Descartes' landing site with LM Orion, John Young, Rover, the United States Flag and the Solar Wind Collector, 16-27 April 1972
Panoramic view [Mosaic] From Descartes’ landing site with LM Orion, John Young, Rover, the United States Flag and the Solar Wind Collector, 16-27 April 1972 Photo: Charles Duke / NASA / c / Christie’s

“The collection is the most comprehensive private collection of NASA images ever auctioned, and it covers every visible milestone of the space program, from the early days of Mercury, the technical developments of the Gemini and Lunar orbiter, to the victories of Apollo,” said Christy. In a press release Promotion for sale.

“Through their cameras, the astronauts-turned-artists were able to transfer the beauty and depth of their space experience to humanity, forever changing the way we see ourselves and our place in the universe.”

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Journey to Another World: The Victor Martin-Malborett Photo Collection is a chronological journey of humankind’s achievements in space starting with The early days of rockets In the 1940s for the first color image of the Earth and the Moon together in The same still imageTaken from the Voyager 1 space probe in 1977.

Neil Armstrong, Apollo II mission commander, in the Lunar Module Modular Equipment Storage (MESA) unit
The only photo of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, July 16-24, 1969 [Apollo 11] Photo: Buzz Aldrin / NASA / c / Christie’s

Collected by Martin Malboret, a 39-year-old Frenchman who used to store space photos from his teenage years when he dreamed of becoming an astronaut, parts of the group have been shown in various forms over the years.

More recently, images from the Apollo missions in the 1960s and early 1970s toured several of Europe’s most prestigious art museums during the summer of 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon.

While a smaller number of historical photos are familiar to space enthusiasts, the vast majority of the collection is being shown publicly for the first time, having been hidden in the archive for decades and only previously seen by researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. , Or the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos.

Other notable photos offered for sale include Leica, the first dog to orbit the Earth. Waiting for launch In a space capsule in the Soviet Union in 1957; First shot of The back side of the moon Taken in 1959; Blue marble, The first complete image of the Earth from a human eye, taken in 1972; And several of the Apollo 17 missions later that year, with Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt being the last 12 people to set foot on the moon.

First self-portrait in space, November 11-15, 1966
First self-portrait in space, by Buzz Aldrin, November 11-15, 1966 Photo: Buzz Aldrin / NASA / c / Christie’s
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Only four are still alive, including former US Senator Schmidt, 85, and Aldrin, 90. He tweeted in June 2018 That he was proud to take the world’s first satellite selfie, during his 1966 flight aboard Gemini 12. “That was an expensive selfie stick!” He wrote.

Armstrong who said the historical words: “A small step for [a] Man, Giant Leap for Mankind “After he ascended to the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969, died in 2012, at the age of 82, from complications following heart surgery. NASA plans to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024, although Estimated Cost Up to $ 30 billion Of her Artemis program will come under close scrutiny during the upcoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Martin-Malburet, whose father was a prominent collector of avant-garde art in the 20th century in Paris, acquired his space collection from auctions, collectors and dealers, some directly from the astronauts themselves.

Astronaut Footprint on the Moon, July 16-24, 1969
Astronaut Footprint on the Moon, July 16-24, 1969 Photography: Buzz Aldrin / NASA / Christie’s

“Astronauts are often portrayed as great scientists and heroes, but they are rarely welcomed as the most important photographers of all time,” he said. “With subtlety and daring, they captured images that immediately embraced the iconography of the sublime, which inspires awe and awe.”

Christie’s sale is split into two, with bids open until November 19 and 20, respectively.