NASA loans 3.9 billion-year-old moon rock to Biden’s White House

A new decoration on display in Joe Biden’s Oval Office is, literally, out of this world. NASA loaned a 3.9 billion-year-old moon rock that space explorers extracted from a moon rock during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, which was the last time humans intervened. foot on the moon.

The pockmarked charcoal gray moon rock, protected by a display case and perched on a shelf in the Oval Office, comes as a request from the new administration. The moon rock traveled to the White House on the day of the inauguration and is on loan from the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The 332 gram rock (which translates to roughly 0.75 pounds) that is now on display in the Oval Office is there in symbolic recognition of the ambitions and achievements of previous generations as well as support for America’s current exploration. “Moon to Mars”, according to NASA.

This is what the moon rock looks like:


NASA’s human lunar exploration plans as part of the Artemis program call to send the first woman and next man on the moon’s surface by 2024 for a one-week shipment. As part of the Artemis program, humans and robots will search for and potentially extract resources such as water that can be converted into oxygen and fuel.

To date, a dozen people have walked on the moon. They were all American men. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first two human beings to walk on the surface of the moon as part of NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing.

The moon rock on display in the Oval Office was recovered by Apollo 17 astronaut Ronald Evans and moon walkers Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan.

(AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

According to NASA, moon rock (known as lunar sample 76015,143) contains tiny craters that formed when micrometeorite impacts sanded the rock for millions of years. The flat sides were created in the NASA Conservation Lab when slices were cut for research.

In October, NASA was looking for proposals private companies interested in collecting material samples from rock, dust or moon ice and is willing to pay up to $ 25,000 for lunar regolith samples that are safely collected and brought to Earth.

We think Biden’s new office decor is awesome!

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Troy M. Hoffman