A woman from Kansas has just issued a lawsuit against NASA to prevent the space agency from taking her moondust. She claims this has been a gift from Neil Armstrong and will do anything to keep the sample from going into NASA’s possession. Even if the space agency hasn’t tried to get it yet, she wants to make sure this won’t happen.
The woman wants to stop NASA from taking her moondust
Laura Murray Cicco currently owns a small sample of moondust she claims is a gift from Neil Armstrong himself. It turns out Armstrong and her father, Tom Murray, were friends while the former was a professor of aerospace engineering of the Cincinnati Space University. Along with the lunar dust, Armstrong also gave the woman a note reading “To Laura Ann Murray – best of luck”.
NASA has always been claiming that any moondust sample belongs to the government. However, the space agency hasn’t yet tried to take the object from her, but this didn’t convince her. Just to make sure such a thing won’t happen, Cicco issued a lawsuit against NASA. In the lawsuit, she argues that Armstrong gave her the object and it’s hers to keep.
This lawsuit might really be successful
However, there might be a reason why NASA didn’t fight to get the moondust sample. A company from Massachusetts, the Bruker Corporation, performed X-ray tests on the object and obtained conflicting results. The X-ray diffraction test identified similarities with real lunar material, while the X-ray fluorescence test showed a different composition.
In case the moondust is genuine, the lawsuit might really prove successful for Cicco. A similar situation occurred in December 2016, when a woman from Illinois got to keep the pouch Armstrong used during the Apollo 11 mission. The government put this pouch on sale at an auction by mistake, and the woman bought it for $900. After bringing the matter into court, the judges agreed with her.
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