The Missing Apollo 11 Moon Rocks Were Found In A Really Strange Place

Moon Rock

Photo: Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota really needs to take better care of its moon rocks.On Monday, the Minnesota National Guard announced that it found moon rocks from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission in the storage area of a St. Paul government building, the Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports.

The five space pebbles, found encased in plastic, had been missing for at least a decade and were discovered among military artifacts. The lunar rocks will be transferred to the Minnesota Historical Society, where they will hopefully be taken better care of.

How did the rocks go missing in the first place?

When astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins returned to Earth from the first moon landing they came back with lots of dust, rocks, and other lunar samples.

The Nixon administration gave each state, and some other nations, its own little moon souvenir inside a small plastic display case. Many of those rock gifts are now M.I.A.

After Minnesota’s find, 11 states, including Massachusetts, Texas, and Wisconsin are missing the Apollo moon rocks, according to the AP.

In a statement, a former state historian for the Minnesota National Guard said that in his research following the Minnesota find, he discovered that 180 of the 270 moon rocks returned from the Apollo 11 and 17 missions are unaccounted for.

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