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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moonrock Sent Partway Home

CollectSPACE reports

Forty years to the day after it was found and collected by Neil Armstrong, a moon rock is helping NASA mark the anniversary of the first lunar landing from on-board a perch that is closer than any Apollo-returned lunar sample has come to its original home in decades.

As was learned exclusively by collectSPACE, the moon rock was secretly launched aboard a March 2009 space shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS), where on Monday night it will be revealed during a NASA 40th anniversary celebration of the Apollo program at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

The 21 gram (0.7 oz) moon rock is only the second* out of the 842 pounds (382 kg) of lunar samples collected by the Apollo astronauts between 1969 and 1972 to be launched back into space. Its journey is planned as a round trip -- it will return to Earth as it came with a future shuttle mission -- in part to symbolize NASA's current effort to return astronauts to the Moon.

link: collectSPACE - news - "EXCLUSIVE: Moon Rock on a Mission"


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