In the summer of 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong posed, for the first time in the History Of Mankind, the foot on the Moon. On his way back to Earth, he carried with him samples of lunar rock in a collection pouch, which is labelled with the words "LUNAR SAMPLE RETURN" is potentially worth millions. Today, this little white bag could find a homeowner in exchange for some $4 million.

If you want to buy it (and you have the means), you will have to go to the auction organized by Sotheby's, the famous international auction house. Scheduled on 20 July in New York, the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, The auction of this relic of the Apollo 11 mission will be the star of a thematic sale on space and its exploration, explains the official site of Sotheby's.

The adventures of the lunar bag

After returning from his mission, Neil Armstrong handed the bag over to a team of scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) lab in Houston, Texas. But as the years passed, the world's largest space agency simply forgot about it. It was lost in the many objects that became obsolete for NASA until three decades later, in a banal auction.

Nancy Lee Carlson, a United States lawyer living in Chicago and self-proclaimed nerd from space, had acquired for only $995 in early 2015. Suspecting it contained more than fibers and a zipper, She sent it to a NASA laboratory for testing. It was at this point that scientists from the United States space agency realized that the bag still contained dust from the Earth's natural satellite, and they refused to return it to its new owner.

A legal battle ensued and a U.S. court ordered the restitution of the object to Nancy Lee Carlson in February 2017.

NASA is not benefited in the auction

But NASA will not get the benefits of this sale. Why? Because, this bag, besides having lived quite extraordinary adventures on the Moon, also has a lot of sailing on the blue planet.

NASA has not appealed, but it seems clear that the space agency is living rather badly to have lost this bag.

"It represents the culmination of a national effort that has mobilized generations of Americans and the work of astronauts who have put their lives at risk to accomplish one of the most important acts in the history of mankind, "Said William Jeffs, a spokesman for NASA, on the Wall Street Journal. This is not really the opinion of Nancy Lee Carlson, who intends to sell the bag and notably use the money for charities, she told Reuters.