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GOING GOING GONE

Now’s your chance to own an engine from the Mars Viking lander or Dwight Eisenhower’s Rolex

Mars Viking lander
AP Photo/NASA
The first color photograph taken on the surface of Mars, by the Viking I lander on July 21, 1976.
  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

If you’re in the market for a quirky historic artifact to show off to your friends (and have a lot of money to spare), look no further than Boston-based RR Auction, which will be auctioning away an extremely rare piece of space history this week, among other intriguing items.

RR Auction

An unfired, spare rocket engine for the Mars Viking lander—the first spacecraft to land on Mars—is currently bidding around $12,000, but according to its hawkers, it may sell for much more. Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction, tells Quartz it’ll go for at least $40,000. “It’s gorgeous,” he said. “If you ever wanted to go to Mars, now’s your chance.”

RR Auction has four astronaut consignors, and often acquires items from the US government directly. The rarest item in this particular auction, whose latest bid is $121,000, is a Rolex worn by US president Dwight Eisenhower. The 18-karat-gold watch, considered the most valuable Rolex watch in existence, has Eisenhower’s initials engraved on it.

RR Auction

Also available for bidding: the ‘Freedom Torch’ that Nelson Mandela held during a campaign ceremony at the Victor Verster Prison, where he was detained for 27 years. “It still has the wick in the torch, so you can still smell the flame,” Livingston said.

The ‘Freedom Torch’ is currently bidding at $50,000.

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