Former NASA agent on a mission to find the missing moon rocksFebruary 20th, 2012 - 8:22 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt
London, Feb 20 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Decades after several moon rock fragments were distributed to various world leaders, investigation has revealed that most of them have gone missing. Several fragments of space rocks were brought back to earth in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.
After the Apollo missions 11 and 17, NASA astronauts brought in a total of 370 pieces. A total of 270 of the stones were given to world leaders around the world. Two stones were given each to every state in the United States as well.
After almost forty years after the last stone was sent out, an audit was started to determine how many of the precious stones are still available. Texas-based lawyer and former NASA agent, Joseph Gutheinz Jr., was tasked to go around the world and check on the rocks.
After the audit, it was determined that a total of 184 of the stones cannot be accounted for. In the United States, 24 of the 100 rocks are declared missing.
Thieves have all the right incentives to steal the rocks. In 1993, the Russian government organized a special auction where 0.2 grams of lunar dust were sold for a whopping $442,500.
Gutheinz told reporters that, “I once offered $10,000 for the recovery of Malta’s stolen Apollo 17 goodwill moon rock but it still hasn’t been recovered.”
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Tags: 1960s, apollo 17, apollo missions, forty years, goodwill, joseph gutheinz, london feb, lunar dust, missing moon, moon rock, moon rocks, nasa, nasa astronauts, precious stones, rock fragments, russian government, space rocks, thieves, two stones, world leaders