Three lunar rock samples taken during the Soviet unmanned mission in 1970 were purchased for $ 855,000 (About 573 million Chilean pesos), at an auction held on Thursday in New York by Sotheby's auction house.
These pieces, brought to Earth by the Luna-16 mission, were initially offered to the wife of Sergei Korolev, who was considered the father of the Soviet space program and died in 1966.
The final price, which includes commissions and expenses, represented almost double what was expected (442,500 dollars, around 296 million pesos) in the first sale of these samples, also at Sotheby's.
The selling price of the place is in the middle of the estimated bid range of the auction house, which ranges between 700,000 and one million dollars (between 470 and 670 million pesos).
According to Sotheby's, what was offered at the end of November was the only one of the fragments taken from Luna, both by US and Soviet missions, which are not owned by any government.
A sign that the lunar mission has a strong attraction among collectors is the auction of a case Neil Armstrong He used to save samples of the first month he collected for 1.8 million dollars in sales at Sotheby's in New York, in July 2017.
Although China succeeded in placing modules on the Moon in 2013, the only samples that have been brought to Earth today originate from missions from the United States and the Soviet Union.
United States of America He hasn't returned there since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, and Russia hasn't been on the Moon since the end of the Soviet era and Luna-24 flight in 1976.
NASA plans to return with manned flights in 2023 and China plans to build an inhabited base on the Moon.
Prior to that, a private Israeli nonprofit organization wanted to send in December an unmanned module, whose month landing is scheduled for mid-February 2019.