Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin kept the book between them, annotating it in real time as they landed the lunar module Eagle from July 20-21, 1969. The 44-page manual is illustrated with diagrams, including a “landmark tracking profile” oriented from the moon. As well as 150 handwritten annotations, including the Eagle’s surface coordinates in the Sea of Tranquillity, it contains traces of moon dust.
It is now offered for £7m-9m as part of One Giant Leap: Celebrating Space Exploration 50 Years After Apollo 11 on July 18. It was in Aldrin’s personal collection until it sold to the current vendor in 2007.
It is among 200 artefacts from NASA missions of the 1960s – 70s offered at the New York auction.
Other highlights include a US flag flown aboard Apollo 10 estimated at $25,000-35,000 and a camera lens dust brush used on the lunar surface during Apollo 14, guided at $125,000-175,000.
Sotheby’s will offer a high-quality NASA videotape recording of the Apollo 11 landing on June 20. The three reels of two-inch Quadruplex videotape have been viewed only three times since 1976 and are offered with an estimate of £1m-2m in the New York auction house.