Sometimes, you misplace your Moon dust

The University of California, Berkeley recently found 20 vials of Moon dust in an archival warehouse. Apparently, these were all loaned research samples that should have been returned to NASA more than 40 years ago. This is not the only institution to suffer from the same problem. At least 12 states had (and then lost) collections of small Moon rocks. Minnesota found theirs last year in a display case at the state Veteran Services Building, crowded into a cluster of lesser memorabilia, including an 8th-place award in a shooting competition. It could happen to anybody.


  1. Moon rocks had enormous scientific value at one point, right? That’s what I remember reading about Apollo in the old days. If they are nothing but souvenirs now, maybe they should be auctioned off as such.   The proceeds can then be used to fight the war on drugs, or the war with terror, or the war on the poor, or somesuch.

    1. Maybe if we convinced the government that there was some kind of war to be fought on the moon we could get NASA funded again.

  2. My mom was a middle school teacher with many accolades and accomplishments, one of them being a trip to NASA/JPL to help write lesson plans for Christa McAuliffe’s flight.

    So one of the many perks was that she got on the list to have moon rocks shipped to her so she could present them to her own classes and have related discussions, then ship them off to the next person in line. Of course, the rocks never made it to her, and now I know who to blame!

  3. *curator blowing away the dust in a container that obscured the label — PROPERTY OF NASA/MOON DUST SAMPLE*

    “Oh, crap.”

  4. Obligatory:
    In Soviet NASA… (oh boy, here it comes) Moon dust… (wait for it) displaces YOU!
    I thank you.

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