Photo: Bootprint from Apollo 11 mission via NASA
Missing moon rocks found in Veterans Service Building will now be on public display.
Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports:
“Moon rocks from mankind’s first landing more than 43 years ago have been discovered tucked away in a government storage area in St. Paul, and officials are at a loss to explain how they ended up there.
“The five encased rocks — little more than pebbles — are part of a desktop display that includes a small state of Minnesota flag that was among the 50 from every state that made the trip aboard Apollo 11.
“Each state received a moon rock display from President Richard Nixon to commemorate the mission that put Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.
“‘The Apollo 11 moon rocks were found amongst military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul,’ said Army Maj. Blane R. Iffert, former state historian for the Minnesota National Guard. ‘When I searched the Internet to find additional information about the moon rocks, I knew we had to find a better means to display this artifact.’”
The location of the most of the nearly 50 pounds of moon rocks from Apollo 11 aren’t known.
Wired: “Of the 193 rocks distributed after Apollo 11, Robert Pearlman’s CollectSPACE website has only ascertained the locations of 42. The Apollo 17 moon rock situation is not much better with space lovers having pinned down the whereabouts of 61 of the precious rocks.
“The moon rock situation finds NASA in the awkward position of losing control of its own legacy. Though the rocks and their presentation are a fascinating moment in the agency’s history, the legions of bureaucrats and politicians who received them do not appear to have quite the same level of interest in space-age history.”