Bag laced with moon dust sells for $1.8 million

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He radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind".

Tomorrow is the 48th anniversary of the moment millions of people watched, collectively holding their breath, as Astronaut Neil Armostrong's white boots left the Lunar Module ladder and gently touched down on the surface of the moon.

The bag used by Armstrong was forgotten until it resurfaced three years ago on a United States government auction website and was bought by Chicago attorney Nancy Carlson for $995.

The 38-year-old Neil Armstrong was actually a civilian research pilot and was also the commander of the mission. After Apollo 11 returned to Earth, almost all the equipment from the mission was sent to the Smithsonian, the world's largest museum. By comparison, Armstrong's spacesuit was only used on the moon for 2.5 hours.

A bag Neil Armstrong used to collect the first ever samples of the moon - which was once almost thrown out with the trash - sold at auction Thursday for $1.8 million, Sotheby's said.

After landing near the Sea of Tranquility, Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, "The Eagle has landed". The spacesuits of Armstrong and his crewmates Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were inserted with mannequins and placed inside the Columbia spacecraft for visitors to see them up close.

After planting the USA flag on the moon, Aldrin spoke with President at the time, Richard Nixon via Houston.

What came to be celebrated as the US's single-largest achievement in the Cold War era, took place at a time when the U.S. was also at war in Vietnam, while the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. was raging within the country.

After a almost 500,000-mile roundtrip to the moon, Apollo 11 splashed down safely in the Pacific on July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii.

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