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Original NASA ‘Red Number’ Prints Up for Auction, Expected to Fetch Thousands per Photo

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As we wrap up 2019 and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 1969, Sotheby’s has one more NASA-themed auction up their sleeve. Launched yesterday, the Space Photography auction includes over 100 original NASA “red number” prints, including some of the most iconic images to come out of the US space program.

This lot of 140 prints comes from the collection of photography collector and dealer Philip Kulpa, and they’re not just anyone’s old prints of NASA public domain photographs. These are “Red Number” prints, meaning that they are the original chromogenic color prints direct from NASA, complete with ‘NASA’ and the mission name or number stamped in the margin in red ink.

Included in the collection are some of the most iconic images to come out of both the Gemini and the Apollo programs, including Buzz Aldrin at Tranquility Base, man’s first footprint on the moon, a view of the Earth rise as captured from the lunar surface, and Apollo 16 Commander John Young’s famous jumping flag salute.

Here are just a few examples:

This “Space Photography” auction is online only, and is running from the 25th of November (yesterday) through the 2nd of December. And while we don’t expect anyone will be able to snag any of these for under one grand minimum—each of the 10 x 8-inch prints pictured above are expected to go for between $2,500 and $5,000—none of the items seem to have a reserve, with some bidding as low as $50 as of this writing.

Who knows… put in a bid and you might get lucky.

To see all of the “red number” prints currently up for sale—as well as some other great items like a signed print of Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon that’s expected to fetch up to $9,000—head over to the Sotheby’s website.

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