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Stolen Apollo 11 moon dust recovered

Posted on Sunday, 26 June, 2011 | Comment icon 22 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

NASA have managed to recover stolen moon dust from the Apollo 11 mission that was about to auctioned.

In the US there are laws prohibiting the sale or possession of moon dust or rocks, a staff photographer at NASA had obtained the dust from a camera that had been dropped during use on the lunar surface. The missing dust was eventually found on the back of a piece of sticky tape that was being sold at a St Louis auction house.

"According to the auction material distributed by the US justice department, Nasa photographer Terry Slezak was in 1969 tasked with processing film from a camera used by Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (22)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by Schoner on 27 June, 2011, 17:03
This story is so full of distortions, lies and false statements that it boggles the mind of those that really know about this. These presentations were made from an item that Florian Noller won in an WORLD WIDE, OPENLY ADVERTISED AUCTION in 2001. And from that strip of tape that had Apollo 11 moon dust on it, he took pieces and made presentation photos of the American Flag on the moon, and took tiny pieces of that tape attached and sold them to many collectors. And he did so OPENLY, distributing them WORLDWIDE on the Internet and in numerous auctions WORLDWIDE. These were never ... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by MID on 27 June, 2011, 21:24
There are likely more important things to boggle one's mind, I should think! This threads comments were geared toward a discussion of the legality of being in possession of Moon rocks and such, and why such things are so protected. I think most would agree that a little dust on some tape doesn't constitute a problem, and no one is prosecuting Terry Slezak for anything. He was contaminated on July 25, 1969, and that was the first direct human exposure to the lunar dust on Earth. No problem. A little dust, and he'll never be prosecuted for that. What he got contaminated with th... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Schoner on 28 June, 2011, 0:56
It does boggle my mind in so far as this news release gone viral. Just Google "Stolen Moon Dust" and see all the pages that come up, or "Missing Moon Dust Recovered" First off. It was not "stolen." Second off: it was not "missing." As I stated previously it was IN PLAIN VIEW for 10 YEARS! It was a major thing, in a major auction in 2001. And it was a major thing when began to sell shards of it openly shortly after. And Mr. Slezak stated that NASA, three decades later when he sold the tape, never mentioned it to him. What boggles my m... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 June, 2011, 1:04
It was NASA property. It was taken without their permission. Under what definition of stolen does this not apply?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Schoner on 28 June, 2011, 2:27
And so was a myriad of other Apollo Era artifacts then. How about "disposed of" rather than "stolen" NASA disposed of lots of Apollo items and these are widely available in the space memorabilia trade. NASA "decontaminated" the Apollo space crafts, and where did that dust go? It was not cataloged so... what then... Where did it go? "Stolen" is is the wrong word in this case. Stolen means taken, plundered, purloined things with the intent of taking it to the owner's loss. Though I cannot speak of Mr. Slezak, from what I have read of him and the stat... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by The Silver Thong on 28 June, 2011, 2:43
Well this sure turned interesting quick. I look forward to reading more posts from Schoner as it seems he has some insight. As do Waspie and Mid of course.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 June, 2011, 9:23
Totally and utterly irrelevant. If it is NASA's property it is NASA's to do with as they see fit. If they wish to dispose of hardware (which as far as I know is not classified as a National Treasure and therefore not covered under this US Federal Law) then that is up to NASA. It is also totally irrelevant that other dust was lost during decontamination. Again it is NASA property. If I decided that on Wednesday I am going to take my TV and dispose of it, it is still theft if someone removes it from my house without my consent on Tuesday. In fact that analogy does not go far enough. Be... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Schoner on 28 June, 2011, 18:32
Waspie, you wrote this that caught my eye: "NASA has to be consistent and prevent a black market in this material." My main point in this case is that there never was a "black market" with respect to Florian Noller purchasing this tape in an OPEN auction that was advertised world wide. Nor was there a "black market" when he offered fragments of this tape WORLD WIDE from his well known company Everything did was up and up above board, in full view and well known by NASA. NASA knew about the first 2001 auction when this item came up.... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by MID on 3 July, 2011, 17:03
You ask a couple of questions here that I think are telling about the society we live in today...and actually have for some time. I'm not really sure I can or should answer them but--- Why does [u]anything[/u] go "viral" today? I'm sure you've plopped across a homepage from time to time and seen what people pay attention to and make a big deal about... Mostly just really stupid, irrelevant stuff about people and events. Things go "viral" all the time. Why not a story about Moon dust? And as to wasting lots of taxpayers money on legal proceedings to determine i... [More]

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