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The First Space Selfie and More Unpublished Photos From the Apollo Moon Landing Are Heading to Auction

A vintage large-format print of Neil Armstrong on the moon could fetch up to $50,000.  

One Giant Leap for Mankind auction Courtesy of Victor Martin-Malburet Collection, Wright and LAMA

Space exploration has come a long way since humans first landed on the moon. Now never-before-published photographs from the iconic Project Apollo mission are going under the hammer—including the first-ever selfie taken in outer space. 

Later this month, Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) and Chicago’s Wright auction house will team up to present One Giant Leap for Mankind: Vintage Photographs from the Victor Martin-Malburet Collection. The sale is meant to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Project Apollo, as well as to set the stage for NASA’s next voyage to the moon with Artemis I in November. The lot will offer over 300 original historical photographs taken during the mission, and later researched and assembled by Victor Martin-Malburet over a 25-year period.  

One Giant Leap for Mankind auction

The first human-taken photograph from the surface of another world, Neil Armstrong
Courtesy of Victor Martin-Malburet Collection, Wright and LAMA

“The [Apollo] astronauts are often presented as great scientists and heroes, but rarely are they hailed as some of the most significant photographers of all time,” Martin-Malburet said in a statement. Highlights of the lot will be the first human-taken photograph on the surface of another world, signed by the entire Apollo 17 crew. Titled One Giant Leap, the print was taken by Neil Armstrong and is expected to fetch anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. Another rarity is the first and only known vintage, large-format print of Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface, with bids estimated to reach upwards of $50,000.  

One Giant Leap for Mankind auction

The Blue Marble: First human-taken photograph of the full earth, Harrison Schmitt
Courtesy of Victor Martin-Malburet Collection, Wright and LAMA

There’s also The Blue Marble, the first human-taken photo of Earth, as well as First Earthrise, an unpublished color photograph of the first Earthrise witnessed by a human. Additionally, what’s being called the first selfie in outer space—taken by astronaut Buzz Aldrin—will be up for grabs. Or you can snag the first selfie in lunar orbit, snapped by William Anders. 

“The breathtaking images of the James Webb Space Telescope released earlier this year remind us that the trajectories of space exploration and image technologies remain inextricably linked,” Martin-Malburet said. In today’s digital era, it is easy to forget that Project Apollo and its extraordinary technical achievements took place when photography was still analog, requiring light-sensitive chemistry, film, and photographic papers.” 

The collection will head to auction on October 28 in Chicago.  

 Click here to see more photos from the One Giant Leap for Mankind auction.

Courtesy of Victor Martin-Malburet Collection, Wright and LAMA

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