This past summer Taschen released Moonfire the comprehensive photographic essay with text originally written by Norman Mailer to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. For the holiday season they are releasing the Lunar Rock Edition which allows regular people to own a piece of the moon, for a price!
It is incredibly rare for an average person to have access to lunar rock. Most lunar meteorites are in the possession of scientific institutions and museum collections. Given that there are only about 70 known meteorites with a combined weight of 55 kilograms, it makes lunar rocks more valuable than diamonds, a truly rare substance on Earth.
Each of the 12 special editions come with an individual piece of lunar rock . The rock and the book are presented in a case designed by Marc Newson one of the most influential living designers of our time. His work commands the highest prices and has broken the record for auction prices paid for current designers, most notably in April 2009 when Lockheed lounge sold for $1.825 million in London.
The book itself is a fascinating compilation of photographs of what has been called the most historic event of the 20th century. The photographs have been culled from the archives of Life magazine, NASA and are paired with text by Norman Mailer. There is also an archival quality numbered photographic print signed by Buzz Aldrin included with the book.
The final 12 lunar rock editions are on sale for 60,000 Euros and come with an authenticated and documented piece of lunar rock which varies in size, color and density.
Lunar Rock edition 1,969 features a piece found in Morocco that weighs in at 348 grams and is one of the largest meteorites to be found on earth that has not been cut into smaller portions for scientific research. The purchaser of this ultimate edition will also receive an invitation to a private dinner with Buzz Aldrin in Los Angeles. The price of this unique edition will set you back almost as much as a trip to the moon itself costing 480,000 Euros!
If you'd like to see it all in person, the Lunar Rock Edition of Norman Mailer's Moonfire is being exhibited at the Taschen booth during Art Basel in Miami from December 2-5, 2009. Otherwise you can head over to the Taschen web-site for an in depth look at the book and its photos.
Gallery: Moonfire Lunar Rock Edition