Health Care

NASA lost bag of moon dust up for auction

An Illinois woman's bag of moon dust brought to earth by Apollo 11 astronauts will be auctioned off later this year. Because the bag was thought to have been from the Apollo 17 mission, in which it wouldn't have been used to collect lunar material, it went up for sale on a small auction where it was bought for the measly sum of $995. The moon rocks ended up in NASA hands just as expected, but the bag did not.

"The bag, marked LUNAR SAMPLE RETURN", was from the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and was used to hold rocks.

"Still containing traces of the moon dust, the artifact gives a collector the chance to not only own some of the first lunar material ever collected", Sotheby's said, "but also the chance to own an exceptionally rare relic of humanity's greatest achievement - landing a man on the moon".

The court agreed, and now Carlson is taking the bag - that she bought for less than a thousand - to Sotheby's for an auction expected to net upwards of $4 million.

The Sotheby's auction will take place July 20, the 48th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11.

According to Sotheby's the (by now empty) lunar sample bag was never picked up by the National Collections and was instead lumped into a lot of items the US Marshall's service set for auction in 2015.

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When the bag returned to Earth, the USA government emptied it of its contents and dubbed it a national treasure. Not a single bid came in. Carlson fought the move and this year in February a judge decided she'd acquired the bag legally and could keep it.

NASA kept the coveted sack.

But as any of you who remember your Property lectures anticipate, Carlson argued that she was a bona fide purchaser. Carlson plans to donate some of the money to charity.

NASA did not have any records of having released the bag and decided not to return the bag to Carlson.

"This artifact, we believe, belongs to the American people and should be on display for the public, which is where it was before all of these unfortunate events occurred", NASA stated after the decision was issued.

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