Wiltshire

Photo of moon landing signed by Apollo 11 crew sold for £5,200

Rare signed photograph taken during the first moon landing Image copyright PA
Image caption The photograph - signed by the Apollo 11 crew - shows the lunar module Eagle ascending from the moon's surface with the earth in the background

A rare signed photograph taken during the first moon landing has sold for £5,200 at auction.

The shot of the lunar module Eagle ascending from the moon's surface is one of only a few known to exist with the signatures of Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins.

It was given to John Cleveland, whose firm arranged limousines for the astronauts during a 1969 London visit.

It was bought by a space museum in the USA at an auction in Wiltshire.

The 7in (18cm) square shot of the lunar module being guided from the moon's surface by Aldrin and Armstrong was taken by Collins, who stayed on the spacecraft throughout the mission.

It was given to Mr Cleveland as a thank you by the astronauts after he refused to take any payment for the limousines he had supplied.

The Apollo 11 crew were in Britain to receive congratulations from the Queen and Prime Minister Harold Wilson just three months after beating the Russians to complete the first manned mission to the moon.

Image copyright Getty Images

Mr Cleveland was contacted by the US Embassy as he had a Ford-branded stretched limousine, which the crew preferred to the more traditional Rolls-Royce or Daimler.

Andrew Aldridge, from Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, said: "To have all three astronauts autograph a photo is unusual.

"But to have them signing a photo of the Eagle module... only months after arriving back on Earth in October 1969 is exceptional."

Hidden from public view for 47 years, the photograph was sold along with an official itinerary for the crew's day by Mr Cleveland's widow.

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