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Wed, Nov 28, 2012

Apollo 11 Moon Rocks Found In Minnesota National Guard Storage

A Gift From President Richard Nixon, Artifact To Be Transferred To Minnesota Historical Society Wednesday

Five Apollo 11 moon rocks are scheduled to be transferred Wednesday, Nov. 28 from the Minnesota National Guard to the Minnesota Historical Society in front of an audience of children at Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration (STARBASE) Minnesota. The students are currently studying about the moon. Wednesday is also a penumbral lunar eclipse.

According to Army Maj. Blane R. Iffert, former state historian for the Minnesota National Guard, the Apollo 11 moon rocks were found among military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul.

The Apollo 11 display was presented in 1970 to the people of Minnesota through the office of Governor LeVander.

A second display, from the Apollo 17 mission, was presented in 1973 to the people of Minnesota through the office of Governor Anderson who then passed the display to the Minnesota Historical Society.

Maj. Kristen Auge told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune she "has no idea" how the display came to be tucked away in a storage facility, or how long they had been there.

But moon rocks have had a history of going missing. In fact, Iffert said in researching the artifact found in Minnesota, he discovered that most of the samples from both the Apollo 11 and 17 missions that were handed out by President Nixon have been lost.

(Image provided by the Minnesota National Guard)

FMI: www.mnhs.org

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