Space lovers will have the chance to get their hands on a selection of remarkable images of outer space, taken from NASA’s archives.
Dating from 1965 to the 1980s, some 22 large-format photographs documenting various space missions will be auctioned on February 14 at Swann Auction Galleries in New York.
Selected by independent curator Barbara Hitchcock and exhibition producer Peter Riva, the photographs have been organised into a travelling exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution, titled Sightseeing: A Space Panorama, 1985.
Aside from the exhibition catalogue, many of the photos have never been published before. The images include iconic shots of astronauts Bruce McCandless, Buzz Aldrin, Charles Duke, and Ed White as they travelled through space, taken during the Gemini IV, Apollo 11, Skylab 3, and STS-41-B (Space Shuttle Challenger) missions.
A range of abstract topographical views of the Earth, as witnessed from beyond its atmosphere, will also be up for grabs.
These are the only known Cibachrome (Ilfochrome) prints made from original NASA positives. They range in size from 19.5 x 19.5 to 20 x 24 inches. All the photographs were taken between 1965 and 1984 and printed around 1985.
With the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing approaching in 2019, the images are expected to attract bids in the region of US$15,000 to US$25,000.
The auction also includes an archive of six binders containing around 280 photographs depicting Apollo Missions 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17, from launch to splashdown. Images include iconic views of the Apollo 11 mission showing Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon for the first time, the memorable images of the plastic American flag, and Armstrong’s reflection in Aldrin’s helmet visor.
There are also multiple views of Earth as seen from outer space, and various photographs of astronauts performing scientific experiments on the moon’s surface. The estimate is US$7,000-10,000.