Tags: apollo 11 | lunar bag | returned | nancy lee carlson

Bag of Moon Dust to Go Back to Woman Who Got It at Auction

Image: Bag of Moon Dust to Go Back to Woman Who Got It at Auction

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin next to the Passive Seismic Experiment Package with Eagle in the background. (NASA via Wikipedia)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017 08:08 AM

NASA will return the Apollo 11 lunar bag to Nancy Lee Carlson following two years of lawsuits involving the bag which contains the first moon rocks to be brought from the surface of the moon.

The zippered pouch – labeled “Lunar Sample Return” – has been used for nearly five decades to protect the moon rocks that were retrieved when astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins became the first humans to travel to the moon in 1969, according to Collect Space.

The bag was sold to Carlson in 2015 at a government auction, the Maroc Journal noted.

However, after Carlson, who purchased the lunar bag for nearly $1,000, sent the bag and its contents to the Johnson Space Center to make sure it was authentic, NASA realized that the bag had been auctioned off by mistake, according to The Talking Democrat.

Carlson issued a complaint against NASA to get the bag back.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore issued a ruling that NASA return the bag to Carlson by Monday, claiming that the bag was “illegally seized” by the space agency, the Maroc Journal noted.

The lunar bag and its contents have for years been viewed as a national treasure.

“There are no other lunar bags out there,” said Joseph Gutheinz, a former NASA enforcement officer, the Maroc Journal noted. “It’s unique as all get out. And because of that, the value of that bag is incalculable.”

Recovering the bag is a special moment for Carlson who can remember watching the Apollo 11 spaceflight land on the moon when she was 11 years old.

“I just felt great that they left this planet and made it to the moon, but I felt even happier when they got back OK,” Carlson said Friday at a courthouse in Houston, according to the Maroc Journal.

A NASA spokesman issued a statement following Gilmore’s ruling.

“NASA is obviously disappointed by the decision of the court,” said NASA spokesman William Jeffs in a statement, according to the Houston Chronicle. “This artifact was never meant to be owned by an individual.”

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NASA will return the Apollo 11 lunar bag to Nancy Lee Carlson following two years of lawsuits involving the bag which contains the first moon rocks to be brought from the surface of the moon.
apollo 11, lunar bag, returned, nancy lee carlson
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2017-08-01
Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017 08:08 AM
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