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Bag containing traces of moon dust sells for $1.8 million.

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A perigee moon rises in Washington, DC, on March 19, 2011. A perigee moon is visible when the moon's orbit position is at its closest point to Earth during a full moon phase. The full moon coincided with its closest approach to the Earth, 221,565 miles (356,575 km), making the so-called "super moon" look slightly larger than average. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK —  A bag containing traces of moon dust has sold at auction in New York City for $1.8 million.

The sale at Sotheby’s on Thursday was surrounded by some fallout from a galactic court battle.

The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969.

But the artifact from the Apollo 11 mission was misidentified and sold at an online government auction. NASA fought to get it back.

In December, a federal judge ruled that it legally belonged to a Chicago-area woman who bought it in 2015 for $995.

Sotheby’s has declined to identify the buyer who won the bag.

The Apollo 13 flight plan with handwritten notations by all three crew members has fetched $275,000 at the same  auction

The flight plan was sold at Sotheby’s auction Thursday of items related to space voyages.

An explosion on board Apollo 13 forced the spacecraft to circle the moon in 1970 without landing. The story of the failed moon mission was dramatized in the 1995 film Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks.

The auction’s top draw on Thursday was a bag containing traces of moon dust. The bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969. It sold for $1.8 million. Sotheby’s declined to identify the buyer.


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