A lost moon buggy once used by NASA for its top-secret space programme has been found languishing in a back garden more than 40 years later – and is now expected to reach over $140,000 at auction.
Even though it appears to be a rusty footnote to space history, the spartan shell of the Lunar Rover vehicle is still worth an astronomical £110,000.
The craft, a Local Scientific Survey Module, was a prototype and never blasted into space but it was instrumental in developing the machines used on the moon for the Apollo 15 mission in 1972.
Despite being part of a top secret $25.4billion Apollo project – $150billion (£93bn) in today’s money – it still ended up rusting away in a backyard in Alabama.
It was only saved when a US Air Force historian passed through the small town of Blountsville, Alabama, in 2014 and spotted it.
Little remained of the 10-metre long trailblazing ‘Brown LSSM’ after it was exposed to the elements for five decades.
Just its metal frame was remaining.
The historian contacted NASA but by the time the agency got in touch the owner he had died and the historic buggy had been sold to a scrap dealer.
Luckily, the dealer realised what it was, kept it and is now auctioning it.
It is estimated that it will need almost £40,000 worth of work to restore to its 1960s prime.
It will be sold by American company RR Auctions.
It will go under the hammer on April 21.