A unique piece of Moon Dust from the Apollo 11 mission is up for auction at RRAuction, with bidding closing on June 23rd.
Over 22kg of Moon Rocks were brought back to earth by the Apollo 11 astronauts.
Approximately 10% of the rocks were set aside to be used in tests, and the remainder were sent to Government’s around the world as 'goodwill' moon rocks.
Sadly of the 270 rocks that were gifted, over 180 are still unaccounted for and presumed lost or stolen.
This dust originates from Dr Marion Brooks who was tasked with examining the moon rocks for infectious agents.
The lot consists of a small glass vial with fine ground lunar rock recovered from Dr Brooks’ tests, plus three dead cockroaches that were fed the moon dust and dissected by Dr Brooks.
The vial, which contains 0.0014 ounces of moon rock dust, had been hung on the wall of Dr Brooks' house for over 40 years before originally being sold at auction for $10,000 in 2010.
Given the increased interest in space travel memorabilia and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos' planned missions to Mars, RRAuction expect the item to now sell for $400,000 just 12 years later.
Moon rock is incredibly rare and can only be sourced from four events: The Apollo missions, the 1970’s Russian missions, China’s unmanned probes and Meteorites that have fallen to earth, which account for over 190kg of the known Moon Rocks.
Due to its rarity many precedents have been set in the last decade to back up RRAuction’s positive estimate.
In 2018 0.0007 ounces of rock that were brought back by Russia’s 1970 Luna 16 mission sold at Sotheby’s for $855,000, having previously sold for $442,500 in 1993.
In April 2022 Bonhams auctioned a smaller amount of Apollo 11 Moon Dust for just over $500,000.
If you’re interested in Moon Rock & Apollo 11 memorabilia then consider a trip to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. where you can actually touch one of the Moon Rocks known, aptly, as The Touch Rock.
For more information on the Moon Dust auction visit RRAuction.com.
Not surprisingly the moon dust lot was pulled from the auction with NASA claiming ownership still belonged with the federal government.
In a letter to RRAuction NASA stated "All Apollo samples, as stipulated in this collection of items, belong to NASA and no person, university, or other entity has ever been given permission to keep them after analysis, destruction, or other use for any purpose, especially for sale or individual display,"