It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about astronaut memorabilia, but if you’d like Neil Armstrong’s actual EKG, recorded during his historic moon landing, it’s up for auction and expected to fetch upwards of $10,000.
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Yes, they had EKGs way back in the dim, dusty days of July 1969 (electrocardiograms have been in medical use since the early 1900s, in fact), though you’d be hard pressed to find someone selling one of these grid-paper strips sporting familiar sinus rhythm bumps and jags for big money. New Hampshire auction house RR Auction has the starting minimum bid at $200, but it’s expected to sell for at least triple that (indeed, as noted by Nature World News, the EKG went for $12,500 when it was sold back in 2004).
The EKG biometrically highlights the heady moment just as Armstrong took his first steps on the moon, the point at which he claims to have said “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind” (there’s some debate about the “a,” which isn’t clearly audible in NASA’s recording). You’d think a not-so-little something like walking on the moon might make even the steeliest individual nervous, but Armstrong’s EKG appears to indicate he was relatively calm at the time.
The EKG strip itself is about six inches in length, cut from a longer strip, and RR Auction says it’s “from Armstrong’s heart monitor at the moment he stepped onto the lunar surface,” or “4:13:24:28 Ground Elapsed Time” according to the presentation sheet it’s affixed to.
Armstrong passed away last August at the age of 82.
The auction, which kicks off May 16 and runs through May 23, is part of RR Auction’s broader “Space & Aviation” event, with over 800 items up for grabs.