Lunar samples originally belonged to Nini Ivanovna Korolevoj, widow of former Soviet space director
The three fragmented rocks that the Moon took over the Soviet Space Mission in 1970 were sold for $ 855,000 at auction in New York on Thursday.
Sotheby's auction house said that "Moonstone" is the only known documented lunar thing in private hands. They were offered for sale by an unidentified private US collector who bought them at auction in 1993 for $ 442,500.
Sotheby said the buyer was another private US collector on Thursday, but the name was not published.
The auction house said in front of the sale that fragments, ranging from 0.079 inches x 0.090 inch to 0.039 inches x 0.40 inches (1 x 1 mm), could fetch up to one million dollars.
Monthly samples originally belonged to Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, widow of the former director of the Soviet space program Sergei Pavlovic Korolev. They were presented as a gift on behalf of the Soviet Union in recognition of her husband's contribution to the program, Sotheby said.
In September 1970, the particles were taken over by the unmanned Luna-16, which drilled a hole on the surface at a depth of 35 cm and pulled the core sample, according to an auction house statement.
Most of the other well-known samples taken from the Moon remain with the two entities that collected them: the United States during the missions of Apollo 11-17 and the Soviet Union through a crew without Luna-16, Luna-20 and Luna-24 crew.
Collectors pay large amounts for the artifacts of exploration of the universe. Last year, Sotheby sold a zipper with Lunar Return of Return, which was interwoven with the moonlight Neil Armstrong used for the first sent mass in the month of 1969 for $ 1.8 million.