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When Neil Armstrong Went to the Moon, He Brought Souvenirs of the Wright Brothers' Flight

In July of 1969, as Neil Armstrong and his crew headed toward the moon, the pioneering astronaut carried with him a very special souvenir, as an homage to another set of pioneers who paved his way. Armstrong had with him remnants of fabric and the propeller of the Wright Flyer, the craft flown by Armstrong’s fellow Ohioans Wilbur and Orville Wright when they succeeded in taking the first powered flight on Dec. 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Amid the nostalgia generated by the upcoming 50th anniversary of Armstrong’s having become the first man to step foot on the lunar surface and this week’s release of the biopic First Manmore than 3,000 items from the deceased astronaut’s personal collection are being put up for auction, with bidding starting Friday. Among those items are four pieces of original muslin fabric and two pieces of propeller from the history-making Wright Brothers aircraft. Each of the propeller pieces could fetch $100,000, and each piece of fabric $50,000, according to Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President of Heritage Auctions.

The Wright Brothers souvenirs were some of the items in Armstrong’s “personal preference kit,” a small bag of belongings of personal significance that each astronaut could bring onto the lunar module. The Wright Brothers artifacts came to Armstrong through an arrangement with the U.S. Air Force Museum, per James R. Hansen’s Armstrong biography.

Read entire article at Time Magazine