MEDIA ALERT: Minnesota Historical Society Takes Possession of Apollo 11 Moon Samples Today

For immediate release

Release dated: 
November 28, 2012
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen
Minnesota Historical Society 
651-259-3148
jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Megan Lawson
Minnesota Historical Society 
651-259-3141
megan.lawson@mnhs.org

MEDIA ALERT: Minnesota Historical Society Takes Possession of Apollo 11 Moon Samples Today

The Apollo 11 Moon samples join an Apollo 17 Moon rock already in the Society's collection

Apollo 11 Moon samples (fragments of lunar soil) were transferred today from the Minnesota National Guard to the Minnesota Historical Society in front of an audience of children at Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration (STARBASE) Minnesota. The students are currently studying the moon.

Moon rock transfer
(Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, MHS Deputy Director Pat Gaarder)

According to Army Maj. Blane R. Iffert, former state historian for the Minnesota National Guard, the Apollo 11 Moon samples were found among military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul.

The Apollo 11 display was presented in 1970 to the people of Minnesota through the office of Governor LeVander.

A second display, from the Apollo 17 mission, was presented in 1973 to the people of Minnesota through the office of Governor Anderson who then passed the display to the Minnesota Historical Society.

After being catalogued, the Apollo 11 Moon samples will join the Apollo 17 Moon rock in being available to the public through the Society's Collection Online and in person for researchers through the Gale Family Library.

APOLLO 11

moon rock smallmoon rocks

Plaque reads: Presented to the people of the state of Minnesota by Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America.

This flag of your state was carried to the Moon and back by Apollo 11, and this fragment of the Moon’s surface was brought to Earth by the crew of that first manned lunar landing.

APOLLO 17

Apollo 17

Plaque reads:  This fragment is a portion of a rock from the Taurus Littrow Valley of the Moon. It was part of a larger rock composed of many particles of different shapes and sizes, a symbol of the unity of human endeavor and mankind’s hope for a future of peace and harmony.

This flag of your state was carried to the Moon aboard Spacecraft America during the Apollo XVII mission, December 7-19, 1972. Presented to the people of the state of Minnesota by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.