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US NewsOnly surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction

11:40  29 june  2019
11:40  29 june  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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2 million - decades after NASA sold them off for $ 218 at a government surplus auction . He was shocked to discover he had an original recording of the moon landing. Now, Sotheby' s auctions says the tapes are expected to sell for as much as $ 2 million when they hit the New York

Footage from tapes being auctioned on Saturday as the “ only surviving first -generation The bidding on Saturday starts at 0,000, and Sotheby’ s estimates they will sell for over $ 1 million. A NASA intern bought the tapes as part of a collection of 1 ,150 reels at a government surplus auction

Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction © PA Images A television grab of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first humans to step onto the Moon (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images) A former NASA intern who bought a truckload of videotapes for just $218 (£171) in 1976 may become a millionaire next month after realizing one of the tapes was the last surviving original recording of the moon landing.

In the years after the July 20, 1969 moon landing, NASA recorded over its tapes or sold them to cut costs and admitted in 2006 that all the original recordings were lost.

Gary George, 65 from Las Vegas, was a college student when he bought 1,100 reels of NASA videotape in 1976, not realizing the moon landing tapes were among them.

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Tapes identified in 2008 as the only surviving original recording of the first moon landing in 1969 are to go up for auction in July. When Gary George bought a truckload of videotapes for $ 218 from a US government surplus auction more than 40 years ago, he planned to sell them to television

NASA ’ s only surviving original recording of Neil Armstrong’ s first steps on the Moon will go to auction next month, a sale that coincides with 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11’ s lunar landing on July 20th, 1969. Sotheby’ s said of the historic videotapes, “Viewed only three times since June 1976

Now, Sotheby's auctions says the tapes are expected to sell for as much as $2 million (£1.5 million) when they hit the New York auction block on July 20.

Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited NASA said in 2006 that all original recordings of the moon landing had been lost. Pictured is Buzz Aldrin with the US flag on the moon

George, a retired mechanical engineer, said: 'I had no idea there was anything of value on them.

'I was selling them to TV stations just to record over.'

After buying the tapes, George sold about eight reels to television stations for $50 each.

It was not until he was packing his station wagon with tapes to donate to a church for a tax write-off that his father spotted the three tapes labeled 'Apollo 11 EVA,' an acronym for extra vehicular activity, NASA jargon for the moon landing.

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They are 'the only surviving first -generation recordings of the historic moon walk. The bidding starts at 0,000, and Sotheby’ s estimates they will sell for $ 1 to $ 2 million . The footage was among 1 ,150 reels that Gary George, a former NASA intern, purchased at a government surplus

A one-time NASA intern is on the brink of making millions for possessing what Sotheby' s auctions say is the only surviving original recording of the moon landing. Retiree Gary George interned at NASA as a university student in 1976. During his time there he purchased more than ` 1 ,100 videotapes for

Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gary George, 65 from Las Vegas, inadvertently bought a copy of the original tapes at a surplus auction in 1976 'He was really into the space program and he said, 'I think I´d hang onto those. They might be valuable someday,'' George recalled. 'So, for that very reason, I pulled them out and hauled them around the country for the next 43 years. That's how come they survived.'

Three of the tapes turned out to be invaluable.

One of them captures the images of the first steps on the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong, along with his famous words, 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.'

The recordings also show astronaut Buzz Aldrin bounding around in minimal lunar gravity, as well as their call with then US President Richard Nixon.

Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited One of the recordings show astronaut Buzz Aldrin bounding around in minimal lunar gravity

You can also see the astronauts planting the American flag on the lunar surface, collecting soil and rock samples and much more, said Sotheby's spokeswoman Hallie Freer.

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That's more than 8,000 times what then- NASA intern Gary George paid for them in a government surplus auction in 1976, the auction The videos have not been restored, enhanced or remastered, and are the "earliest, sharpest, and most accurate surviving video images of man ' s first steps on

A former NASA intern unwittingly bought a set of original Apollo 11 Moon landing videotape recordings for Gary George was an intern at NASA when he attended a government surplus auction at Houston’ s George stands to make between $ 1 and $ 2 million , according to a pre-sale

Freer declined to disclose the exact financial terms between Sotheby's and the seller.

Collectors pay huge sums for space exploration artifacts.

In 2017, Sotheby's sold a zippered bag stamped with the words 'Lunar Sample Return' laced with moon dust which was used by Armstrong on the 1969 mission, for $1.8 million.

Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The recordings also show the astronauts planting the American flag on the lunar surface

NASA admitted in 2006 that no one could find the original video recordings of the historic moon landing. The US space agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the upcoming auction.

In 2008, George was vacationing with a NASA friend who told him he was tasked with locating the lost videotapes.

George said: 'He said: ''It seems we´ve lost our original tapes of the Apollo 11 EVA''.

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Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction
Only surviving original recording of man's first steps on the moon is set to fetch $2million - decades after NASA sold them off for $218 at a government surplus auction

'Quite frankly, I was sitting at the table drinking a beer and I said, ''Well damn, I have those.'''

At the time, George did not have the proper equipment to view the tapes, and still did not known exactly what was on them.

But after opening talks with NASA to turn them over, George said he visited a video studio in California where he watched them for the first time.

The sound and images were transmitted by a camera deployed by Armstrong that remains on the moon's surface to this day.

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usr: 3
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