Flag Soared to the Moon, but Not Bids for 3 Scraps

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They were three fabric scraps trimmed from the flag later planted on the moon by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission. They never made it to the moon, but rather were discarded in a trash bin and recovered by Thomas Moser, a NASA engineer. And now — mounted to a poster with a nice photograph, and signed by Mr. Armstrong himself — they have sold for $45,000.

The price was less than Mr. Moser had hoped for. As the featured attraction in an auction of space memorabilia in Beverly Hills, Calif., on July 9, the flag pieces had been offered for a minimum of $100,000. When the highest bid — about $50,000 — fell far short of that, Mr. Moser and the auction house changed plans and instead offered the scraps to the highest bidder in a private sale....

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