I've been reading of stories such as one where a woman was detained after trying to sell a moon rock. This made me wonder how do Moon rocks get away from NASA and eventually find there way into the public?

  • $\begingroup$ The story you link to lists 3 separate ways: goodwill gifts given by NASA to foreign governments, theft by workers with access, loss while being shipped. $\endgroup$ – BowlOfRed Aug 8 '17 at 6:35
  • $\begingroup$ @BowlOfRed wow I guess I should probably read more thoroughly $\endgroup$ – Jake Blocker Aug 8 '17 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ In my time at JSC there was the whole "Sex on the Moon" thing. I don't recommend the book. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_on_the_Moon $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 22 '18 at 2:00

Because someone stole or misplaced them.

Tiny samples of two moonrocks (one each from Apollo 11 and 17), encased in plastic and mounted on plaques were given as goodwill gestures to the various countries of the world and states of the U.S.. Some of these displays were later stolen or misplaced, often due to lax security around the displays or instability in the countries hosting them.

Other moonrocks were stolen from NASA itself, either directly (by employees who had access to the areas where they were being kept) or indirectly (from employees or institutions who were authorised to possess them, generally for educational purposes).


The moon rocks are indistinguishable from everyday lunar metereorites. Any claim of this or that clump of dirt being an Apollo moon rock is solely based on whatever the person making the claim is able to present.

For example


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    $\begingroup$ It would in fact appear from the link given that they are far from indistinguishable to anyone competent in the field. And your statement about "whatever the person making the claim is able to present" is confusing. Do you mean "whatever evidence they are able to present"? If so, that seems tautological at best. Or do you mean something else? $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Aug 8 '17 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ Meteorites have been through the fire of atmospheric entry, Apollo rocks have not. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Sep 9 '17 at 1:58

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