Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Moon dust recovered from St. Louis auction house
Moon dust

Moon dust recovered from St. Louis auction house

{{featured_button_text}}

ST. LOUIS • Moon dust stolen decades ago from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been recovered just before a planned auction in St. Louis, the U.S. attorney's office said Thursday.

The dust came from the film canister used by astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission and was believed to have been transferred to a one-inch piece of tape and then stolen by a NASA employee, they said.

"It wasn't much to look at, but I will never be that close to the moon again!" said U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan in a statement released Thursday announcing the recovery.

Investigators believe that the tape was sold in 2001 to a German collector of " space-related memorabilia," but lost the trail until Callahan's office heard early this month that it was to be sold by the St. Louis office of Regency-Superior Auctions.

The seller, whose name has not been revealed, turned over the dust after learning of its history. Her late husband was the one who bought or otherwise obtained the dust, Callahan's office said.

Full test results that would confirm the material as being from the moon are still weeks away, but preliminary testing at the Johnson Space Center laboratory late Wednesday "confirmed that the material is in all likelihood lunar."

There is some dispute over whether the dust was stolen or given to the NASA employee. In the auction materials, that employee, Terry Slezak, says that he was given the dust as a gift - to commemorate Slezak as the first person to touch moon dust with bare hands. Slezak got dusty when he was unloading a camera that had been dropped on the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

BALTIMORE • Only three months after NASA's Messenger spacecraft became the first to orbit the planet Mercury, scientists are already tossing o…

LOS ANGELES — The moon is much wetter and more chemically complicated than scientists had believed, according to data released Thursday by NASA.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Trending

Blues News

Breaking News

Cardinals News

Daily 6

National Breaking News

Sports