Moon rocks found in Minn. National Guard storage

Nov 29, 2012 by Paul Walsh

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 to commemorate the mission that put 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."

Precisely, those "better means" will be handled by the Minnesota Historical Society, which will take possession of the rocks in a transfer ceremony Wednesday in front of a gathering of children at Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration (STARBASE) Minnesota.

Located at Minnesota Air National Guard base near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, STARBASE educates and encourages urban youngsters in the study of science, technology, engineering and math.

Maj. Kristen Auge of the Minnesota National Guard said she has "no idea how the moon rocks came into our possession" or how long they were the storage area.

Iffert said his research found that most moon rocks from the and 17 missions that were given by Nixon as goodwill gestures are unaccounted for.

"We are honored to have this in our collection to preserve for future generations," Pat Gaarder, deputy director for the Minnesota Historical Society, said in a statement. "It is also exciting to think that our collection includes artifacts from across the globe and now with these , the galaxy."

Explore further: Bright points in Sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA honors Apollo moon walker Buzz Aldrin

Mar 17, 2006

NASA will honor former astronaut Buzz Aldrin for his involvement in the U.S. space program with the presentation of the Ambassador of Exploration Award.

Recommended for you

Astronauts to reveal sobering data on asteroid impacts

13 hours ago

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… ...

Rosetta instrument commissioning continues

14 hours ago

We're now in week four of six dedicated to commissioning Rosetta's science instruments after the long hibernation period, with the majority now having completed at least a first initial switch on.

Astronaut salary

14 hours ago

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects—such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Apr 16, 2014

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Scryer
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2012
More like solar system, if you're going to say 'galaxy' you might as well include anything from our planet.

More news stories

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Hubble image: A cross-section of the universe

An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers ...