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Waspie_Dwarf

Stolen Apollo 11 moon dust recovered

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Waspie_Dwarf
The US has recovered a scattering of moon dust stolen from Nasa after the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, just as it was about to be sold at auction.

The dust was smuggled out of Nasa by a staff photographer who gathered it from a camera the astronauts used on the lunar surface, officials said.

Nasa investigators discovered the dust - affixed to a scrap of tape - at a St Louis auction house this month.

It is illegal in the US to possess moon rocks or moon dust.

"It wasn't much to look at, but I will never be that close to the moon again," US attorney for eastern Missouri Richard Callahan said in a statement.

arrow3.gifRead more...

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ThePhantomFlanFlinger

The one thing i find worrying in that report is the fact that moon dust/rock is illegal in the US....Why would that be...?..No wonder conspiracy theories occur when a law like that exists.

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Waspie_Dwarf

The one thing i find worrying in that report is the fact that moon dust/rock is illegal in the US....Why would that be...?..No wonder conspiracy theories occur when a law like that exists.

Actually the law only prohibits private citizens fro owning lunar samples.

With the exception of a tiny amount of material returned by unmanned Soviet vehicles all lunar material was returned by Apollo and hence is the property of the US Government. It is extradinarily valuable material when you consider how much it took to return it from the moon. Any material which is put up for sale must have been obtained illegally, hence such a law is logical.

There is actually quite a fair amount of lunar material not in the hands of NASA, many universities have material for research purposes (including many outside the USA).

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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ThePhantomFlanFlinger

With the exception of a tiny amount of material returned by unmanned Soviet vehicles all lunar material was returned by Apollo and hence is the property of the US Government. It is extradinarily valuable material when you consider how much it took to return it from the moon. Any material which is put up for sale must have been obtained illegally, hence such a law is logical.

There is actually quite a fair amount of lunar material not in the hands of NASA, many universities have material for research purposes (including many outside the USA).

Thank you for that Mr Wasp....why was it returned if you dont mind me asking..?...it seems a bit silly to me(Not hard to do).

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MID

The one thing i find worrying in that report is the fact that moon dust/rock is illegal in the US....Why would that be...?..No wonder conspiracy theories occur when a law like that exists.

It's not that Moon rocks and dust are illegal, it's that they are all part of a collection which is considered a National Treasure, and are protected as such by Federal Law. This material is kept locked away in controlled conditions, and is under Federal control pertaining to where it goes and who gets to work with it.

It's still rather precious material. The fact that it's protected has nothing to do with CTs. CTs will exist despite the fact that this material has been analyzed by scientists world-wide, and has been shown conclusively to be Moon dust and rock.

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ThePhantomFlanFlinger

It's not that Moon rocks and dust are illegal, it's that they are all part of a collection which is considered a National Treasure, and are protected as such by Federal Law. This material is kept locked away in controlled conditions, and is under Federal control pertaining to where it goes and who gets to work with it.

It's still rather precious material. The fact that it's protected has nothing to do with CTs. CTs will exist despite the fact that this material has been analyzed by scientists world-wide, and has been shown conclusively to be Moon dust and rock.

I suppose the normal guy on the street does not think of it that way...Thank you MID...looking at it now logically,it is a very rare and expensive commodity considering how much the space program costs..Im new to this subject via boredom with other topics and normally just read to garner information..Thank you.

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MID

I suppose the normal guy on the street does not think of it that way...Thank you MID...looking at it now logically,it is a very rare and expensive commodity considering how much the space program costs..Im new to this subject via boredom with other topics and normally just read to garner information..Thank you.

Glad you're finding some information!

You are welcome Sir.!

:tu:

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DONTEATUS

Shhh ! Dont let-em know that All that Moon stuff is Full of HE-3 Mid ,they will want to know where we got our Fuel for Sweetie`s engines.

Great Post by the Way . Love to See the CT`s learn a bit here and there ! :innocent: justDONTEATUS :tu:

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ThePhantomFlanFlinger

Shhh ! Dont let-em know that All that Moon stuff is Full of HE-3 Mid ,they will want to know where we got our Fuel for Sweetie`s engines.

Great Post by the Way . Love to See the CT`s learn a bit here and there ! :innocent: justDONTEATUS :tu:

Im not a CT **SNIP**..lol...Im just an interested citizen.. :rofl:

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
personal attack removed.

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Waspie_Dwarf

BrianPotter,

Please do not make personal attacks, even if you believe you have been misrepresented.

Rules

3. Behaviour

Please be civil and courteous to other members at all times.

  • 3f. Abusive behaviour: Do not be rude, insulting, offensive, snide, obnoxious or abusive towards other members.

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Socio

If memory serves I believe the Feds arrested someone not to long ago for trying to sell moon dust or rocks on Ebay so yea illegal big time.

Edited by Socio

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Taut

Seems to me like you'd have to be kinda dum to try and sell it in an open market. Someone will rat you out, probably starting with the company who was doing the auction. And everyone knows EBay, FBook ad infinitum is monitored.

What could you be thinking to steal a national treasure? I'm sure there are collectors for most anything and some have lotsa money. But I bet you better know what you are doing if you don't want to end up in the federal pen.

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ThePhantomFlanFlinger

BrianPotter,

Please do not make personal attacks, even if you believe you have been misrepresented.

Im sorry Mr Wasp....im on new prescription meds for pain....i find im following myself round doing apologies...im sorry if i offended anyone...i cant even remember what i said.. :no:

Edited by BrianPotter

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Schoner

This story is so full of distortions, lies and false statements that it boggles the mind of those that really know about this.

These Spaceflori.com 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 was "stolen" "hidden" "black market." This was completely open above board and NASA did notice it 10 years ago, and did not intervene! Maybe 250 or more pieces were distributed over the last 10 years, and they have appeared and re-appeared in many auctions since.

To say that it was "stolen" makes Mr. Slezak the thief. It tarnishes his career which till this article was untarnished. Read about him. Even NASA has a great interview of him stating his achievements, even the incident where he got contaminated with Apollo 11 moon dust, and that was in July 2009-- Nine years after his Apollo 11 board with a strip of tape sold in Germany to Mr. Noller of Spaceflori.com.

see: My link

Pieces of that tape that Mr. Slezak supposedly "stole" have been sold worldwide before that interview. And NASA knew about it all along right from the very start in 2001 when Mr. Slezak put it up for auction.

Here is the original 2001 announcement at Collectspace.com:

My link

And here is another openly advertised auction at the start of this year:

My link

And will this one be confiscated by NASA?

If any wishes to use a good search engine they will easily discover other such auctions of these "Apollo 11 Moon Dust" presentations over the last 10 years.

This news story about "Stolen Apollo Moon Dust Recovered", and the other renditions of it gone viral, are is so full of misinformation that it staggers my mind, all the while giving false information to those that do not know the facts.

BTW: How much moon dust got flushed down the drain when the astronauts and Mr. Slezak were decontaminated? And 42 years later after Mr. Slezac got that tape; now NASA cares?

Boggles my mind.

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MID

This story is so full of distortions, lies and false statements that it boggles the mind of those that really know about this.

These Spaceflori.com 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 was "stolen" "hidden" "black market." This was completely open above board and NASA did notice it 10 years ago, and did not intervene! Maybe 250 or more pieces were distributed over the last 10 years, and they have appeared and re-appeared in many auctions since.

To say that it was "stolen" makes Mr. Slezak the thief. It tarnishes his career which till this article was untarnished. Read about him. Even NASA has a great interview of him stating his achievements, even the incident where he got contaminated with Apollo 11 moon dust, and that was in July 2009-- Nine years after his Apollo 11 board with a strip of tape sold in Germany to Mr. Noller of Spaceflori.com.

see: My link

Pieces of that tape that Mr. Slezak supposedly "stole" have been sold worldwide before that interview. And NASA knew about it all along right from the very start in 2001 when Mr. Slezak put it up for auction.

Here is the original 2001 announcement at Collectspace.com:

My link

And here is another openly advertised auction at the start of this year:

My link

And will this one be confiscated by NASA?

If any wishes to use a good search engine they will easily discover other such auctions of these "Apollo 11 Moon Dust" presentations over the last 10 years.

This news story about "Stolen Apollo Moon Dust Recovered", and the other renditions of it gone viral, are is so full of misinformation that it staggers my mind, all the while giving false information to those that do not know the facts.

BTW: How much moon dust got flushed down the drain when the astronauts and Mr. Slezak were decontaminated? And 42 years later after Mr. Slezac got that tape; now NASA cares?

Boggles my mind.

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 that day was a harmless amount of meaningless black dust. We had tons of the stuff in cases. That's what's protected. Not a little bit on a piece of tape.

i am sure NASA doesn't care at all.

There's some of that dirt right there...

S69-40054.jpg

He probably wiped his hands them on his coveralls and has, in some closet someplace, another auctionable moon dust item (probably wortth some real money)!

You're right. Don't make any difference.

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Schoner

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 that day was a harmless amount of meaningless black dust. We had tons of the stuff in cases. That's what's protected. Not a little bit on a piece of tape.

i am sure NASA doesn't care at all.

There's some of that dirt right there...

S69-40054.jpg

He probably wiped his hands them on his coveralls and has, in some closet someplace, another auctionable moon dust item (probably wortth some real money)!

You're right. Don't make any difference.

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 Spaceflori.com 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 mind is that this story with all of its errors such "stolen" "missing"... "black market"...

News releases, based on accusations such as this release are what really boggle my mind.

Never was that case. "Stolen" implies that someone stole it. Mr. Slezak? "Missing" means that someone at NASA noticed it missing. When was it noticed "missing"? Right from the start? "Recovered after 40 years..." As if they had been looking for it for 40 years, and that was not the case.

It never was stolen, or missing.

Fact is, they flushed gobs of Apollo moon dust down the drain when they cleaned out the Apollo Command modules. So a worker, Mr. Slezak in light of this kept a piece of dusted tape as he cleaned the film canister. And so he happened to keep a piece of dusted tape, that otherwise would have been disposed of as trash back in 1969

Another fact is that NASA-JSC accounts for everything, weight, numbered, and photographed. These Apollo specimens are mostly tangible rocks and some specific dust samples that were taken and also cataloged.

I really do not think that they even considered cataloging the dust that they flushed out of the Command Modules, or cleaned off of the moon walker's space suits, nor cataloging the dust that was on Mr. Slezak.

They in essence treated it like dirt, and of no consequence. The rocks and the cored soil samples were more important, locations noted and duly cataloged.

The big question is after 40 years and ten years after these dust samples were made openly available by Spaceflori.com, why NASA's interest now?

Because that Missouri Attn Gen. took interest in it after hearing from a bored stiff pencil pusher at NASA, who had thumbed through endless auction lists making a point of it to justify his or her job?

And I know some Space Memorabilia collectors, heavily invested that would sigh a sigh of relief if is as you wrote "NASA doesn't care at all."

But these news releases certainly give no consolation.

So now the question of "Stolen" moon dust remains and if NASA will demand all of this inconsequential, scientifically useless dust back... All the while wasting in the effort more tax-payer money that "We the People" cannot afford.

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Waspie_Dwarf

First off. It was not "stolen."

It was NASA property. It was taken without their permission. Under what definition of stolen does this not apply?

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Schoner

It was NASA property. It was taken without their permission. Under what definition of stolen does this not apply?

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 statements that he made regarding that time, stealing was not his intent.

And if so, being if it was his intent, and he did it against what he knew were NASA rules, why then would he have sold this tape in an open world wide auction where it would and did come to NASA's attention in 2001? (I contacted Mr. Noller on that matter).

It was of no consequence in 2001 and even up till May 18 2011 where the exact same item was sold openly on Ebay for $1,680.00.

See: Ebay My link

BTW: Hundreds of these presentations have been made, and many have appeared in other auctions since 2001

This article is way out of line with regards to the pertinent facts. One must look at the culture of the time, what was going on in the days after the Apollo 11 Mission came home. From what I read dust on articles of space hardware, space suits and tools brought was disposed of. And Slezak's tape was inconsequential as that in 1969 and for 40 years since-- untill this week.

I suspect that there is much more to this story and hope the truth comes out in followups.

I just hope that the followups are not screwups like this "Stolen Apollo 11 Moon Dust..." story is.

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The Silver Thong

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.

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Waspie_Dwarf

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?

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. Because the lunar material is protected by US federal Law it would still be illegal for someone to posses it even AFTER NASA disposed of it.

You can try to define the word stolen in what ever way you like, you can try to justify Terry Slezak actions in what ever way you like, these simple facts remains:

  • The Moon dust was taken without the owners consent.
  • The Moon dust has been returned to it's rightful owner.

It is that simple.

Having said all that, I think it quite likely that Terry Slezak was not acting out of criminal intent when he took the dust but that does not make his actions legal.

You seem to be implying that there is more to this whilst totally missing the real point. If NASA allows this sale then it sets a president. There has already been several cases of lunar material being stolen and the 2003 case, where 101g of material were stolen is highly likely to be the reason NASA is cracking down on even small cases like this. NASA has to be consistent and prevent a black market in this material.

wikipedia article - Stolen and missing moon rocks

FBI story from 2003 on the 101g of lunar material stolen by 3 interns which became contaminated in the process, making $21 million worth of NASA property virtually worthless as well as destroying 3 decades of research notes.

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Schoner

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. Because the lunar material is protected by US federal Law it would still be illegal for someone to posses it even AFTER NASA disposed of it.

You can try to define the word stolen in what ever way you like, you can try to justify Terry Slezak actions in what ever way you like, these simple facts remains:

  • The Moon dust was taken without the owners consent.
  • The Moon dust has been returned to it's rightful owner.

It is that simple.

Having said all that, I think it quite likely that Terry Slezak was not acting out of criminal intent when he took the dust but that does not make his actions legal.

You seem to be implying that there is more to this whilst totally missing the real point. If NASA allows this sale then it sets a president. There has already been several cases of lunar material being stolen and the 2003 case, where 101g of material were stolen is highly likely to be the reason NASA is cracking down on even small cases like this. NASA has to be consistent and prevent a black market in this material.

wikipedia article - Stolen and missing moon rocks

FBI story from 2003 on the 101g of lunar material stolen by 3 interns which became contaminated in the process, making $21 million worth of NASA property virtually worthless as well as destroying 3 decades of research notes.

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 Spaceflori.com.

Everything spaceflori.com 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. I communicated with Mr. Noller and he told me so. And NASA knew about his company Spaceflori.com as this company was also advertised at collectspace.com right from the start. And collectspace.com is the most widely known source of authentic space related artifacts. NASA knows about them, too, and looks over their listings.

So NASA stating that they lost track of it or that it was missing or on the black market is a bunch of bunk. NASA knew about this item and the pieces that were distributed via Spaceflori and advertised on collectspace.com for TEN YEARS !

This instance as reported is the first with respect to virtually invisible milligrams of moon dust, a thing that was disposed of as contamination back in '69.

I don't know Mr. Slezak's thinking back in '69. So I can't speak for him.

But the NASA culture at that time as I gleaned from the records was that this dust was loose contamination and treated accordingly, flush and drained away. Slezak may have acted accordingly. I have read that he used tape to clean off the film canister and his fingers, s common practice for those that deal with cameras. He removed the dust not with the intent of stealing it, but to remove it. He could have just thrown the strips in the can. And maybe he did for most of them. And so, for whatever reason a small piece was retained.

NASA knew about it, by Slezak's own admission in open statements that he made regarding this tape; "they(NASA)never mentioned it." he said.

Again, bottom line in this:

There never was a "black market" for this moon dust.

This tape was never missing.

Nor was it stolen.

Despite what these news stories state, NASA knew about it from 2001 to today. And they may have known about it long before Mr. Slezak sold it in an widely advertised auction. NASA could have stopped that auction then and there. They did not. They could have intervened to prevent Spaceflori.com from selling over the next 10 years pieces of it. They did not.

The big question today is--

Why now?

After doing nothing about it for 10 years?

BTW: To set the record straight, I have no monetary interest in Spaceflori.com or collectspace.com, and other than what I post I glean no benefits from them. But I do support what they do and stand for to promote the space memorabilia market, and not the so called "black market"

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MID

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 Spaceflori.com 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 mind is that this story with all of its errors such "stolen" "missing"... "black market"...

News releases, based on accusations such as this release are what really boggle my mind.

Never was that case. "Stolen" implies that someone stole it. Mr. Slezak? "Missing" means that someone at NASA noticed it missing. When was it noticed "missing"? Right from the start? "Recovered after 40 years..." As if they had been looking for it for 40 years, and that was not the case.

It never was stolen, or missing.

Fact is, they flushed gobs of Apollo moon dust down the drain when they cleaned out the Apollo Command modules. So a worker, Mr. Slezak in light of this kept a piece of dusted tape as he cleaned the film canister. And so he happened to keep a piece of dusted tape, that otherwise would have been disposed of as trash back in 1969

Another fact is that NASA-JSC accounts for everything, weight, numbered, and photographed. These Apollo specimens are mostly tangible rocks and some specific dust samples that were taken and also cataloged.

I really do not think that they even considered cataloging the dust that they flushed out of the Command Modules, or cleaned off of the moon walker's space suits, nor cataloging the dust that was on Mr. Slezak.

They in essence treated it like dirt, and of no consequence. The rocks and the cored soil samples were more important, locations noted and duly cataloged.

The big question is after 40 years and ten years after these dust samples were made openly available by Spaceflori.com, why NASA's interest now?

Because that Missouri Attn Gen. took interest in it after hearing from a bored stiff pencil pusher at NASA, who had thumbed through endless auction lists making a point of it to justify his or her job?

And I know some Space Memorabilia collectors, heavily invested that would sigh a sigh of relief if is as you wrote "NASA doesn't care at all."

But these news releases certainly give no consolation.

So now the question of "Stolen" moon dust remains and if NASA will demand all of this inconsequential, scientifically useless dust back... All the while wasting in the effort more tax-payer money that "We the People" cannot afford.

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 anything 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 if some micro-samplings of Moon dirt are owned by Slezak or NASA, just like this alleged DAC that Ed. Mitchell has--yea, I understand the consternation about that too.

But none of it really matters. There are legal issues at hand that simply must be solved, so someone can be satisfied about dirt and obsolete cameras!

That's the way society is.

I don't know that it's worth talking about it anymore. That's the way things go "VIRAL"!

:w00t:

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