Samples of Moon dust gathered by Neil Armstrong have turned up after being lost for 40 years.
The discovery was made by archivist Karen Nelson who found several vials containing materials from the Apollo 11 Moon landing at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 20 vials in total containing dust and crushed up rock had been forgotten about in the labs archives for several decades. At the time of Armstrong and Aldrin's return, samples retrieved from the lunar surface had been sent to 150 laboratories around the world for study.
"We don't know how or when they ended up in storage," said Nelson. The vials were accompanied by a paper entitled 'Study of carbon compounds in Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 returned lunar samples'. Oddly, it appears that the scientists studying the samples simply lost interest, placed them in storage and then forgot about them.
"Now, thanks to Karen Nelson, a tidy archivist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, about 20 forgotten vials of moon dust collected by Armstrong and Aldrin have been rescued from a grave of their own: a warehouse at the Berkeley lab, where they'd sat quietly gathering, um, Earth dust for the last 40 years or so."
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