Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 collectibles sell at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars

A piece of a propeller from a Wright Flyer that was flown to the moon sold in a recent online auction for $275,000, according to auction company Heritage Auctions Inc.

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The propeller piece was part of an auction of Apollo 11  mission collectibles by the family of the late astronaut Neil Armstrong, an Ohio native who was the first human to step foot on the moon.

Along with the propeller segment, pieces of wing fabric — also said to have been flown to the moon landing site of Tranquility Base on July 20, 1969 — sold at auction, according to Heritage Auctions.

Sections of Wright Flyer fabric sold for $175,000 to $112,000. The pieces were said to have flown at the site of the first controlled powered flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in December 1903, as well as to Tranquility Base decades later.

Other items sold at auction, according to the Heritage web site, were a Purdue University flag, which sold for $52,500; and a state of Ohio flag, which sold for $87,500.

A U.S. Air Force certificate signifying Armstrong’s completion of a survival course in the tropics sold for $2,750.

Born in Wapakoneta in 1930, Purdue graduate and former fighter and test pilot Armstrong led the historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon in July 1969, landing with Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin on the surface. Armstrong climbed down to the lunar surface nearly seven hours after the landing with the famous words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

In retirement, he taught aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati and lived for a time on a farm in Warren County outside Lebanon. He also served on the boards of several corporations, including USX Corp., Cincinnati Electric and Gas and Eaton Corp.

He died in August 2012.

The auction closed Saturday.

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