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A pouch used to carry moon rocks back to Earth from the Apollo 11 mission will soon go up for auction and could earn its owner a whopping sum.
The rather unremarkable bag has an incredibly rich history in that it was not only used during the pioneering lunar mission, but later became the center of a contentious legal battle.
Having served its purpose as a container for the moon rocks, the satchel was subsequently lost amidst the many artifacts from the Apollo missions.
By way of a clerical error, the bag was somehow sold during a 2015 auction of space memorabilia by the U.S. Marshals Service.
A Chicago-area attorney named Nancy Carlson purchased the pouch for a mere $995 dollars and, suspecting that there may be something special about the bag, sent it to NASA to see if her hunch was correct.
Things quickly became complicated when the space agency realized that Carlson was correct and that the bag actually contained moon dust from the rocks procured during the Apollo 11 mission.
An aghast NASA refused to return the bag to her, offering to reimburse the $995 dollars instead, insisting that the pouch had been accidentally sold.
However, she rebuffed their offer, which lead to a pair of lawsuits that the space agency eventually lost last year.
Now legally declared the lawful owner of the prized pouch, Carlson has decided to auction it off at a sale by Sotheby’s this coming July.
Incredibly, the lunar sample return bag is expected to fetch an astounding $4 million dollars, which would smash the previous record for a space-related artifact sold at auction.
It would also be a jaw-dropping return on Carlson’s modest $995 investment in the seemingly inauspicious space memento.