For a former NASA trainee, a recording of the lunar landing 50 years ago could make a giant leap for his investment.
Gary George found the original videotapes capturing the Apollo 11 lunar landing at a surplus government auction while he was working at the Nasa Johnson Space Center in 1973, according to Sotheby's. . He paid 217.77 USD (325 USD) for the 1150 reels of tape with 2 hours and 24 minutes of recording. They include Neil Armstrong's statement: "It's a small step for a man, a giant step for humanity."
Next weekend, these same reels could bring him between 1 and 2 million dollars, according to Sotheby's, which auctioned tapes and other objects commemorating the anniversary of the moon landing.
Even at the bottom of the estimate, this is a return of almost 5,000 times, beating just about every major stock market in the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed at a record Friday, has been multiplied by 30 since the summer of 1973, while gold accounted for half of those gains.
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Walmart, the retailer that created the richest family in the world, recorded just over half of the potential earnings from registrations. Amazon.com, which has made Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world, offered a third of those returns after rising its stock price more than 1,300 times since its initial offer two decades ago.
"With stocks, it's supply and demand, but it's based on expectations of future earnings," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "The art or collectibles are valuable because they are unique."
Even though these images have been seen over the years on television, Sotheby's presents them as "the only records of the first moon walk since the first generation." They are also more accurate than those broadcast in the news, he added. George declined to comment on the auction.
The recordings probably represent a good investment "given the trends in sports memorabilia and an extreme appreciation of the art and all that Sotheby's sells," said Michael Purves, strategist in chief at Weeden & Co. evenings. "