When NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong went for a trip to the moon, he remembered to bring home a souvenir. The Bag used to collect samples of lunar dirt is now expected to bring an 'out of this world' sum of money when it goes on auction later this week.

Sample bag from moon up for auction

Neil Armstrong’s trip to the moon is undeniably one of the most famous trips ever made. While the popularity of the NASA astronaut is quite expected, who would have imagined that his tiny bag would snatch the spotlight?

Fortune reported that Neil Armstrong’s dirt bag is going up for auction.

The bag was used by the astronaut to gather rocks, dust and other native lunar samples from the moon’s surface. Armstrong’s bag, along with several other priceless space tokens is scheduled to go into auction at Sotheby’s in New York City later this week.

The humble dirt bag is historic. It was used by the first man who ever set foot on the moon to transport the very first lunar samples collected by men back to Earth. The bag flew to space with Armstrong during his Apollo 11 mission.

To date, the coveted bag still cradles dust particles and tiny rocks. It is estimated to raise a minimum bid of $4 million. The auction in New York is scheduled on Thursday and shall begin at about 9 in the morning.

Apart from Armstong’s bag, other items included in the upcoming auction include the Apollo 13 flight plan and Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s record file. The flight plan is expected to raise about $30,000 to $40,000 while the record file will cost at least $50,000. Pictures of the moon photographed by the U.S. space agency and Gus Grissom’s space suit are also up for sale, Science Times report.

The history of Armstrong’s bag

Many people wonder where Armstrong’s bag was kept all these years. For some time, it was safely kept at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To everybody’s surprise, NASA lost track of the bag. Later on, it was found in the garage of Cosmosphere co-founder Max Ary, who was convicted of stealing the property from NASA.

The bag was subsequently auctioned at the Marshal Service on two occasions. Later on, it found its way to the home of attorney Nancy Lee Carlson from Chicago. Carlson bought the bag for only $995. Out of curiosity, Carlson contacted NASA who subjected the bag to various tests and examinations. Later on, NASA confirmed that the bag was indeed Armstrong's and verified that it still contained actual moon dust. NASA initially refused to return it the bag to Carlson but the attorney filed a lawsuit and won. Carlson has now decided to auction the bag again.