Friday, January 27, 2006

A sale of moon dust

Lot 195, on sale at London auctioneer Bonhams earlier this week: Apollo 11 moon dust. Now you don't see that every day. When I called Bonham's to ask where it came from, the press officer said, "the moon".

Well it actually came from a laboratory technician and discussions are underway between Bonhams, NASA, and the vendor to figure out who really owns it. My bet is that it belongs to the U.S of A.

In the picture on the left, the dust sample is on the right hand side of the tube. On the other end of the tube is a cork. The sample appears to be sellotaped to the laboratory sample sheet.

Read the full article in this week's Economist:

A fall of moon dust
Jan 26th 2006
A sample collected by Apollo 11 almost goes on sale
“LOT 195 has apparently gone back to the moon. It has been withdrawn from sale.” Thus spake Jon Baddeley, head of scientific instruments at Bonhams auctioneers in London on January 24th." (more...)