by Simon Baxendale
Space memorabilia – particularly that which has returned from missions over the years – always travels far in terms of value back here on Earth. There’s been plenty of high-profile auctions over the past few years where various apparel and items used in Apollo missions and beyond have gone to the highest bidder for thousands upon thousands of dollars – and it really does seem that there continues to be an invested market in moon memorabilia and more besides. Recently, however, it appears that slightly outdated food from the Apollo moon landing may well be going for a song – but why?
The Phill Parker Collection of Space Exploration – put together by a private enthusiast – is up for sale. Among the collection include various bits of space debris, space shuttle bolts, capsule wiring and more besides – but it’s a fruit drink being sold via an upcoming catalogue at British auctioneers Hansons which seems to be catching people’s eyes. The seller appears keen – and confident – to request up to £500 ($650) for a likely mouldy pineapple and grapefruit drink which was specifically designed to be enjoyed while orbiting the moon during a mission. It’s safe to say that drinking it is out of the question – but for some space enthusiast, it could be a fairly large purchase that completes a fairly unique collection.
Phill Parker, who is selling off his memorabilia having collected them throughout his life, is putting up to 200 different space-related collectables – from the tiniest bolts to the most impressive units and even the aforementioned 50-year-old juice drink – there really does seem to be something for everyone here. There are also autographs obtained from Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first two men to walk on the moon’s surface.
“As I approach my 72nd birthday, I believe it’s time to ensure my collection of historic spaceflight hardware items and paper documents will continue to be utilized to record the first golden age of space exploration by auctioning to interested parties,” Parker advises. Certainly, he is in a prime position to comment on and to have collected such memorabilia – as he has written a considerable number of spaceflight articles for journals, magazines and more – he’s even interviewed Armstrong and Aldrin personally!
Fancy grabbing a unique piece of space history? Hansons Auctioneers – based in Etwall, Derbyshire, UK – are putting around 200 pieces forward on September 3rd.