Five tubes containing a tiny amount of moon dust were auctioned in the United States for 450,000 euros. Lunar materials have never been sold before, as prohibited by NASA policy. But it happened anyway due to human error.
Neil Armstrong put moon pellets in a bag during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Astronauts collected a sample of half a kilo just to be sure. After that, more than twenty kilograms were taken.
All lunar dust has been examined and stored by NASA, but the empty bag containing the emergency sample sold for less than a thousand dollars in the 1970s. It wasn’t until 2015 that Jupiter realized that there was a remnant of moon dust in the layers of the bag.
After investigation, NASA confirmed this, and the space agency sued Jupiter. They said moon dust should remain in the hands of the government as a national heritage. However, the judge ruled in favor of the buyer and he sold the empty bag in 2017 for 1.5 million euros.
Now the moon dust also went under the hammer. The tiny amount of moon dust was sold for around 450,000 euros.
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