Auctioning legacies

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- AS RUSSIA moves to a market economy, some celebrated but impecunious cosmonauts are cashing in on their space legacies. Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space, pocketed $255,500 as he watched his training space suit go under Sotheby's hammer in New York in December (Nature, Vol 366, No 6456).

The widow of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, also became a rich woman as one space enthusiast made a high bid for the orange space suit that Gagarin used to train for his historic flight. Also on sale were diaries detailing the changing fortunes of the Soviet space programme and title deeds for two buggies still on the moon. The auction of more than 200 artefacts from the Soviet space programme fetched $6.82 million.

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