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Recordings Of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Sold For $1.82 Mln

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Auction house Sotheby's said on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, it has auctioned the three original videotape recordings depicting the event for $1.82 million in New York.

The price is more than 8,000 times the price paid for the tapes by then-NASA intern Gary George at a government surplus auction in 1976.

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon, on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on to the lunar surface and was joined by Buzz Aldrin some minutes later.

According to Sotheby's, the videotapes are the "earliest, sharpest and most accurate video images of man's first steps on the moon."

The tapes that were broadcast by network television networks have lost video and audio quality with each successive transmission from one microwave tower to the other.

The auctioned tapes are the only surviving first-generation recordings of the historic moon walk and have not been restored, enhanced or remastered, the auction house noted.

The video footage has a combined run time of 2 hours and 24 minutes. It includes Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon, to the phone call with the then-U.S. President Richard Nixon and the planting of the American flag.

It also includes Armstrong's famous declaration, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Sotheby's also said its auction in New York dedicated to Space Exploration totaled $5.5 million, exceeding its high estimate by $1 million. 93 percent of all lots were sold.

The auction included a wide variety of material from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. It had direct consignments from astronauts including Buzz Aldrin, collection of space artifacts and mission hardware, maps and charts, single owner collection of flown Robbins medallions, early contractor's models and spacesuits.

Sotheby's, in June, agreed to be acquired by BidFair USA, which is owned by French billionaire Patrick Drahi, in a deal with an enterprise value of $3.7 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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