This Tweet by NASA Space Flight Editor Ian Atkinson says:

Some pictures from the Cathedral before the event starts, they have a table set up with artifacts from Apollo 8, including the flown flight plan!

There's also a window dedicated to Space exploration, with a moon rock in the glass (inside the white circle near the top).

Is this just space lore, or is there really "a moon rock" in the glass? If there is, how did it travel from the Moon to the window, and if known, from where on the moon is it from?

Ian Atkinson Cathederal Moon Rock Window


1 Answer 1


This is the "Space Window" of the National Cathedral in Washington.

Space Window Source: NASA

The National Cathedral website identifies the rock as Piece 230 of Apollo 11 rock no. 10057, and further states that it was given by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on the 5 year anniversary of the first steps on the moon during Apollo 11.

This NASA page describes the rock and how it was mounted for display:

In preparation for mounting the 3.6 billion-year-old sample collected by Armstrong and Aldrin, workers sealed a rock section two-and-one-half inches in diameter sealed between two pieces of tempered glass circled with a band of stainless steel. The sealing was done in a nitrogen environment so that any void between the pieces of glass would be filled with nitrogen rather than air, preventing deterioration. The moon rock is a basalt, probably from a lava flow. The mineral pyroxferroite, unknown on Earth, was also discovered in the rock.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The photos at the NASA page are great, and it looks like there are some interesting diagrams on the window as well. Great sources, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 17, 2018 at 16:34

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