John Pazmino
 NYSkies Astronomy Inc
 2009 December 13 initial
 2009 December 18 current
    Year 2009 is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight, landing 
on the Moon on July 20th of 1969. Many astronomy centers and musea 
held worthy Apollo shows. NYSkies, as example, convened the only 
public Apollo remembrance session 'Remembering Apollo' in July. 
    Separately from the Apollo events, there was a walking tour of 
Manhattan's astronomy points of interest on 2009 November 22. It was 
hosted by Amateur Observers Society, Long island. Occasionally it 
brings its astronomers to the City to inspect and discuss places with 
an astronomy theme, as inspired by a special 2002 issue of Natural 
History magazine titled 'City of stars'. 
    One of the stops on this tour is the United Nations headquarters, 
which has a Foucault pendulum, a Sputnik-1 satellite, and an Apollo 
    The Sputnik was routinely described by UN tour guides as the shell 
for a backup or second satellite with no guts inside. It in actuality 
is a replica of Sputnik, like the one exhibited for the movie 'Sputnik 
Mania' in 2007. 
    The moonrock, once in a glass display case in the visitor lobby, 
was out of sight for the last several years. 
    AOS made inquiries. At first the response from the UN was that the 
rock was being fixed up in some unspecified way. After a couple more 
years the reply was a ignorant 'What moonrock?' 
    Linda Prince, AOS, and I, NYSkies, were deeply puzzled that so 
rare and precious an exhibit can go astray. After our inquiries at 
both UN and NASA, Ms Prince got the reply on 2009 December 7 that the 
rock is in storage because its glass display case was cracked. No one 
at the UN seemed to know how this happened but the rock was removed 
for safekeeping and is still in the UN premises. It is not certain if 
the display case will be repaired and the rock returned to exhibit. 
    As I was asking around about the UN rock, some readers told me of 
other instances of missing moonrocks. At first I figured these were 
unusual and were in some way duly investigated and solved. 
Brief history
    After the first and final Apollo flights, the United States gave to 
other nations and US states a sample moonrock. The idea was that they 
were gifts to the whole people of the countries and states and that 
they would be accessible to the people in a safe and secure manner. 
Typicly this was a public display in a major museum. 
    The Apollo 11 rocks were distributed in 1970; Apollo 17, 1973. 
Most countries and states got one from each flight. The rocks were 
pure gifts with no attachments or conditions. Each recipient handled 
the gift according to its own treatment of treasures and works of art. 
    The Apollo 11 stones were a set of 4 grains of 50mg size set in 
Lucite on a wood plague. The plaque also had a small nylon flag of the 
recipient that was on board the Apollo 11 flight. Many were presented 
during the 'Giant step Apollo 11' tour by the astronauts to the heads 
of state, or their delegate. The rest were delivered after the tour, 
which could visit only a selection of all the countries of the world. 
The grains came from the pool of material returned by the flight. 
    The Apollo 17 stones were slivered off of a particular rock 
returned by the Apollo 17 crew, specimen #70017. Astronaut Harrison 
Schmitt, via television from the Moon, wished that it be distributed 
in good will to all the people of the world. These stones, a single 
piece of about 1 gram size, are sometimes called 'Goodwill moon 
rocks'. They were mounted similarly to the Apollo 11 stones, under 
Lucite on a wood plaque. The affixed flag for each recipient was on 
the flight. 
    Altho there was no stipulation for making the rocks constructively 
accessible it was assumed that they would be put in some honored place 
for public viewing. As can be supposed, many recipients just do not 
have a mature sense of handling such artifacts. 
    As far as I could determine, NASA did not offer to the recipients 
any guidance, advice, instructions, assistance for curating the rocks. 
Once handed to an appropriate delegate from the recipient, the rock's 
fate was in the hands, litterally, of that recipient. 
    NASA still hands out moonrocks to honor particular people, mostly 
astronauts and space scientists. These are the 'Ambassador of 
exploration' moonrocks that, unlike the national and state gifts, 
are NASA property, fully accounted. NASA no longer, since the Apollo 
11 and Apollo 17 gifts, actually gives away any moonrocks.  
Moonrocks at sale
    Overwhelmingly a moonrock advertised for sale is a fake, with 
intent to cheat the buyer. Sales are made thru print and Internet 
media. Often their provenance is undisclosed or fabricated. Because it 
is easy to hide the ultimate identity of the seller, a buyer who later 
finds his rock is a phony moonrock has no easy or direct recourse. 
    A genuine moonrock comes onto the market from time to time, often 
chipped off of a larger piece like many meteorites are. However, 
unless the buyer has some expert guidance in assaying the rock or 
verifying its provenance, there is no telling what the rock is. Very 
few buyers ever saw a real moonrock, like in a museum, and will not 
recognize a fake on sight. 
    An other genuine moonrock can be an earthly meteorite that is 
traced back to the Moon. The origin is revealed by the stone's 
chemical and physical match with conditions on the Moon. Because thee 
is a trickle of new finds of such meteorites, the supply is slowly 
replenished, giving a person a reasonable chance to own a sample. 
    Other earthly meteorites come from Mars, asteroid Vesta, and 
asteroid 2008-TC3. I myself have a set of three such meteorites, from 
Moon, Mars, Vesta. 2008--TC3 didn't fall when I got this set. They and 
are mounted on a caption card in award-pin boxes. 
    When I first showed them around, people tried to open the boxes! 
Well, they WERE boxes with [thankfuly glued] press on lids. I then 
placed the three boxes adjacently and wrapped them along the sides 
with masking tape. The tape concealed the lids and made a handy large 
single unit to show. 
    A third real moonrock, in truly tiny grains, comes from the 300ish 
grams returned by Soviet landers of the Luna series. 
    Many 'Giant step' and 'Goodwill' recipients simply did not have 
the competence to safeguard their gifts. Some may be stolen by a theft 
or simple taken home by past official of the recipient. 
    It is the buyer who must beware such offered moonrocks. It is 
possible that these real pieces come from the 'Giant step' or 
'Goodwill' samples that went missing over the decades. If the stone is 
recovered, typicly from a crime investigation, and examined, its 
origin from one of the gift rocks can be easily determined. 
    For a serious doubt, it is wise to report the offer, with full 
particulars, to the NASA inspector general and the local office of the 
FBI. For other countries, apply at the US embassy or consulate for 
    NASA when alerted to a possible offering of a real moonrock, 
investigates and sometimes takes legal action. However, of the moon 
rocks in the lists below, a missing one is never seen ever again. 
    Because of their rarity and lack of refreshed supply any time 
soon, prices for an Apollo or Luna moonrock, actually a chip or grain, 
is hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Chips from lunar 
meteorites are far less pricey, in the tens or hundreds of dollars. 
NASA concern
    For the gift rocks to states and countries and individuals, NASA 
has no jurisdiction except as they are reported as part of a crime. 
Then it reacts with an investigation and hopeful return of the 
specimen to the original recipient, or last legitimate title holder. 
    For moonrocks on loan for exhibits, NASA seems awfully 
inconsistent. In some cases it mandates strict coverage of the stone 
in all its movements and display, supervision, alarms, protection, and 
so on. In other cases, it seems very lax with only casual reminders 
about handling. NASA also seems to be loose with shipping an exhibit 
stone, sometimes using regular postal service mail rather than traced 
    In my personal experience I saw a display of moonrocks from a NASA 
traveling exhibit at an astronomy conference. This was in the 1980s, 
so details are eroded. The stones were tiny pebbles set in a dinner-
dish dome. It was carried about casually by the NASA crew and allowed 
to be handled by visitors. It seemed entirely feasible to palm the 
dome and play dumb. A person probably could have dropped it into a 
tote bag and walked away. 
    Samples given for scientific study seem to be more carefully 
chronicled and documented. I hear of the paperwork being on the order 
of that for radiological samples. 
Moonrock news
    With the Apollo anniversary and International Year of Astronomy, 
news about moonrocks spiked in 2009. An other ignitive spark was the 
Rijksmusem, Amsterdam, Holland, moonrock incident. In August 2009 the 
museum reported that a moonrock on display was really a hunk of 
petrified wood! It was given by the US ambassador to Holland during a 
visit by astronaut Neil Armstrong. it is possible that the museum 
associated the rock with the astronaut as coming from the Moon. 
    This story called into question how musea keep track of their 
moonrocks. The mistaken stone in the Rijksmuseum was properly cared 
for. However, the inquiry arose: Where are the 'Giant step' and 
'Goodwill' rocks? 
    In summer and fall of 2009 several news pieces described efforts 
to learn the fate of these rocks in US states and overseas. Some 
leaded to successful recovery. Others so far end in dead leads. 
    I do not try to summarize the account of these stones, there being 
good coverage in the news media. I'll not addiurnate this article 
regularly. This ia a snapshot status report as at November 2009. 
Inventory of moonrocks 
    These tables and text below are adapted from collectSPACE, who has 
the project of tracking down to a definite fate each of the 'Giant 
step' and 'Goodwill' moonrocks. It has authoritative material on other 
space-related artifacts at 'www.collectspace.com'. 
    A blank entry for a country or state means only that the stone is 
unaccounted. It is not a statement that the stone is actually stolen 
or lost. It could be a matter of misplaced records, faded memory, 
loosely managed relocation, on exhibit in a lesser-known museum. 
    For the Goodwill stones, a couple numbered specimina were not 
given out. They remain in NASA's collection. 
Giant step moonrocks 
    In November 1969 US President Richard Nixon requested that NASA 
create approximately 250 displays containing lunar surface material 
and the flags of 135 nations, US possessions, and [US] states. 
    Each presentation included 0.05 grams of Apollo 11 moon dust, in 
the form of four small pieces encased in an acrylic button, as well as 
the flag of the recipient nation or state, also flown on the first 
manned lunar landing mission. 
    The displays that were presented to foreign heads of state 
included the inscription: 
    'Presented to the People of [country] by Richard Nixon, President 
of the United States of America. 
    'This Flag of Your Nation 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.'
    (With exception to the plaque for Venezuela: it was discovered 
that the nation's flag was not flown aboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft. 
Instead, a flag carried on Apollo 12 was used with the wording: "This 
flag of your nation was carried to the moon and back, and this 
fragment of the moon's surface was brought to Earth by the crew of the 
first manned lunar landing.") 
    Once gifted, each of the goodwill moon rock samples became the 
property of the recipient and was no longer subject to being tracked 
by NASA. All other lunar sample locations are well documented by the 
US space agency to this day (with exception to similarly gifted Apollo 
17 lunar sample displays). 
    As property of the nation or state, the [Giant Step] rocks are now 
subject to the laws for public gifts as set by that country [or 
state]. In most cases, as in the United States, public gifts cannot be 
legally transferred to individual ownership without the passage of 
additional legislation. 
    Since 2005, collectSPACE has attempted to locate the current 
whereabouts of all the Apollo 11 lunar sample displays. The following 
chart details those efforts [as at mid November 2009]. 
    Special gratitude is extended to former NASA Office of Inspector 
General special agent Joseph Gutheinz, who today as a professor at the 
University of Phoenix, Arizona, has challenged his students to locate 
the displays. 
    Do you know the current status of an Apollo 11 display? Write us 
at moonrocks@collectspace.com 
 Nation/State       Location/Status
 ------------------ ---------------
 Australia          National Archives of Australia, "Memory of a 
Nation" exhibit, Canberra 
 Austria            Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna) 
 Belgium            Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, 
 Central African Republic          
 Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Natural History Museum, Colombo 
 Chile              Frei Montalva's Historic House Museum, Santiago      
 Congo (Brazzaville)
 Congo (Kinshasa)
 Costa Rica         Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose (in 
 Czechoslovakia      Vojensky historicky£stav (Military History 
Institute), Prague 
 Dominican Republic
 El Salvador
 Equatorial Guinea
 France             Musāum d'histoire naturelle, Nantes 
 Germany            Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Frankfurt 
 Ireland            Accidentally discarded after an Oct. 3, 1977 fire 
destroyed the Meridian room at Dunsink Observatory, Dublin, where it 
had been on display. Now among the rubble at the Finglas landfill 
 Ivory Coast
 Japan              National Museum, Tokyo 
 Korea              National Museum of Korea, Seoul       
 Maldiwe Islands 
 Malta              Museum of Natural Science, Gozo
 Mexico             Universum, Museo de las Ciencias, Mexico City 
 Muscat and Oman 
 Nepal              National Museum of Nepal, Kathmandu
 Netherlands        National Museum of the History of Science and 
Medicine in Leiden
 New Zealand        Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, 
 Poland             Olsztynskie Planetarium i Obserwatorium 
Astronomiczne, Olsztyn
 Romania            Muzeul National de Istorie a RomÉniei, Bucharest      
 San Marino
 Saudi Arabia 
 Sierra Leone
 Singapore           Singapore Science Centre
 South Africa 
 Southern Yemen
 Soviet Union
 Sweden              Reported stolen from Naturhistoriska riksmuseet 
(National Museum of Natural History) in Stockholm in 2002
 Switzerland         focusTerra, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology 
(ETH), Zurich
 Trinidad and Tobago
 United Arab Republic
 United Kingdom      10 Downing Street (in the study), London       
 Upper Volta          
 Vatican City        Vatican Museum       
 Western Samoa 
 Yugoslavia          Museum of Yugoslav History, Muzej 25 Maj (Museum 
of the 25th of May), Belgrade, Serbia 
 United Nations 
 California          San Diego Air & Space Museum 
 Iowa                State Historical Museum, Des Moines
 Maryland            Maryland State House, Annapolis       
 Mississippi         Department of Archives and History, Jackson (in 
 New Hampshire
 New Jersey   
 New Jersey          State Museum, Trenton (in storage)       New 
 New York
 North Carolina      North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh       
 North Dakota
 Ohio                Ohio Historical Center, Columbus 
 Oklahoma            Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City 
 Pennsylvania        Planetarium, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, 
 Rhode Island        State Library, Providence 
 South Carolina 
 South Dakota 
 Vermont             held in the collection of the Vermont Historical 
Society, Barre 
 West Virginia       State Museum, Charleston 
 District of Columbia 
 Puerto Rico 
 Virgin Islands 
 American Somoa 
Goodwill moonrocks 
    Prior to the end of their third and final moon walk, Apollo 17 
astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt paused to make a special 
    EUGENE CERNAN: 'Houston, before we close out our [moon walk], we 
understand that there are young people in Houston today who have been 
effectively touring our country, young people from countries all over 
the world, respectively, touring our country. They had the opportunity 
to watch the launch of Apollo 17; hopefully had an opportunity to meet 
some of our young people in our country. And we'd like to say first of 
all, welcome, we hope you enjoyed your stay. 
    'Second of all, I think probably one of the most significant 
things we can think about when we think about Apollo is that it has 
opened for us -- "for us" being the world -- a challenge of the 
future. The door is now cracked, but the promise of the future lies in 
the young people, not just in America, but the young people all over 
the world learning to live and learning to work together. In order to 
remind all the people of the world in so many countries throughout the 
world that this is what we all are striving for in the future, Jack 
has picked up a very significant rock, typical of what we have here in 
the valley of Taurus-Littrow. 
    'It's a rock composed of many fragments, of many sizes, and many 
shapes, probably from all parts of the Moon, perhaps billions of years 
old. But fragments of all sizes and shapes -- and even colors -- that 
have grown together to become a cohesive rock, outlasting the nature 
of space, sort of living together in a very coherent, very peaceful 
manner. When we return this rock or some of the others like it to 
Houston, we'd like to share a piece of this rock with so many of the 
countries throughout the world. We hope that this will be a symbol of 
what our feelings are, what the feelings of the Apollo Program are, 
and a symbol of mankind: that we can live in peace and harmony in the 
    HARRISON SCHMITT: 'A portion of [this] rock will be sent to a 
representative agency or museum in each of the countries represented 
by the young people in Houston today, and we hope that they -- that 
rock and the students themselves -- will carry with them our good 
wishes, not only for the new year coming up but also for themselves, 
their countries, and all mankind in the future.' 
    Three months after Apollo 17 returned home in December 1972, US 
President Richard Nixon ordered the distribution of fragments from the 
rock that Cernan and Schmitt collected, sample #70017, to 135 foreign 
heads of state, the 50 US states, and its provinces. Each rock, 
encased in an acrylic button, was mounted to a plaque with intended 
recipient's flag, also flown to the Moon. 
    A letter, signed by President Nixon, accompanied the samples that 
were transferred to foreign heads of state. Dated 21 March 1973, it 
read as follows (as reproduced from the National Archives): 
    'The Apollo lunar landing program conducted by the United States 
has been brought to a successful conclusion. Men from the planet Earth 
have reached the first milestone in space. But as we stretch for the 
stars, we know that we stand also upon the shoulders of many men of 
many nations here on our own planet. In the deepest sense our 
exploration of the moon was truly an international effort. 
    'It is for this reason that, on behalf of the people of the United 
States I present this flag, which was carried to the moon, to the 
State, and its fragment of the moon obtained during the final lunar 
mission of the Apollo program. 
    'If people of many nations can act together to achieve the dreams 
of humanity in space, then surely we can act together to accomplish 
humanity's dream of peace here on earth. It was in this spirit that 
the Untied States of America went to the moon, and it is in this 
spirit that we look forward to sharing what we have done and what we 
have learned with all mankind.' 
    Once gifted, each of the goodwill moon rock samples became the 
property of the recipient and was no longer subject to being tracked 
by NASA. All other lunar sample locations are well documented by the 
US space agency to this day (with exception to similarly gifted Apollo 
11 lunar sample displays). 
    As property of the nation or state, the goodwill rocks are now 
subject to the laws for public gifts as set by that country [or 
state]. In most cases, as in the United States, public gifts cannot be 
legally transferred to individual ownership without the passage of 
additional legislation. 
    Since 2002, collectSPACE has attempted to locate the current 
whereabouts of all the goodwill moon rocks. The following chart 
details those efforts [as at mid November 2009]. 
    Special gratitude is extended to former NASA Office of Inspector 
General special agent Joseph Gutheinz, who today as a professor at the 
University of Phoenix, Arizona, has challenged his students to locate 
the goodwill moon rocks. 
    Do you know the current status of a fragment of Sample 70017? 
Write us at moonrocks@collectspace.com 
 No. Nation/State    Location/Status  
 --- --------------- ---------------
 239 Alabama 
 240 Alaska         Alaska State Museum, Juneau 
 241 Arizona 
 242 Arkansas 
 243 California 
 244 Colorado 
 245 Connecticut 
 246 Delaware       in storage in the state's archives (Delaware 
Museum Association) 
 247 Florida 
 248 Georgia        Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta 
 249 Hawaii 
 250 Idaho 
 251 Illinois 
 252 Indiana 
 253 Iowa           State Historical Museum, Des Moines 
 254 Kansas 
 255 Kentucky 
 256 Louisiana 
 257 Maine 
 258 Maryland 
 259 Massachusetts  Museum of Science, Boston 
 260 Michigan       Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing 
 261 Minnesota      Minnesota Historical Society, MN150 exhibit, St. 
 262 Mississippi    Department of Archives and History, Jackson (in 
 263 Missouri 
 264 Montana 
 265 Nebraska 
 266 Nevada         Nevada State Museum, Carson City (in storage) 
 267 New Hampshire 
 268 New Jersey 
 269 New Mexico 
 270 New York       New York State Museum, Albany (in storage) 
 271 North Carolina 
 272 North Dakota 
 273 Ohio 
 274 Oklahoma       Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City 
 275 Oregon 
 276 Pennsylvania   Planetarium, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, 
 277 Rhode Island 
 278 South Carolina 
 279 South Dakota 
 280 Tennessee      Pink Palace Museum Sharpe Planetarium, Memphis 
 281 Texas          On loan through January 10, 2010 from the State 
Capitol Building (State Preservation Board) to the Museum of Fine 
Arts, Houston as part of the exhibit, The Moon 
 282 Utah 
 283 Vermont        in the collection of the Vermont Historical 
Society, Barre 
 284 Virginia       Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond 
 285 Washington 
 286 West Virginia 
 287 Wisconsin      Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum, 
 288 Wyoming 
 289 Puerto Rico 
 290 not distributed, still at NASA 
 291 China 
 292 not distributed, still at NASA 
 293 not distributed, still at NASA 
 294 Afghanistan 
 295 Argentina       Planetario Galileo Galilei, Buenos Aires 
 296 Australia       National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in 
 297 Austria         Naturhistorisches Museum, Meteorite Hall 
 298 Bahamas 
 299 Bahrain         Bahrain National Museum, Manama (unconfirmed) 
 300 Barbados        Barbados Museum & Historical Society 
 301 Belgium         Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, 
 302 Bolivia 
 303 Brazil 
 304 Canada          Canada Science and Technology Museum, on loan 
from the Canadian Museum of Nature 
 305 Chad 
 306 Taiwan 
 307 Colombia 
 308 Costa Rica      Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose (in 
 309 Dahomey 
 310 Denmark 
 311 Dominican Republic 
 312 Ecuador 
 313 Egypt           Egyptian Geological Museum, Cairo 
 314 Congo Republic 
 315 El Salvador     Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Zona Rosa 
 316 Finland         Mineralogical Museum of the Geological Survey of 
Finland, Otaniemi, Espoo 
 317 Gabon 
 318 W. Germany      Deutsches Museum, Munich 
 319 Solomon Islands Soloman Islands National Museum 
 320 Guatemala 
 321 Guyana          National Museum of Guyana, Georgetown 
 322 Haiti 
 323 Honduras        Acquired illegally and then smuggled into the 
U.S. in 1995; offered for sale for $5 million to undercover NASA agent 
and confiscated in 1998; returned to Honduras and now displayed at 
Centro Interactivo de Ense§anza Chiminike in Tegucigalpa 
 324 Iceland 
 325 India 
 326 Indonesia 
 327 Iran 
 328 Ireland         National Museum of Ireland, Museum of Natural 
History, Dublin 
 329 Israel 
 330 Italy           Museo Nazionale Della Scienza E Della Tecnologia 
"Leonardo da Vinci", Milan 
 331 Ivory Coast 
 332 Jamaica 
 333 Japan           National Museum, Tokyo 
 334 Jordan 
 335 Khmer 
 336 Korea 
 337 Lebanon 
 338 Liberia 
 339 Luxemborg 
 340 Malta           Reported stolen 5/2004; National Museum of 
Natural History, Mdina 
 341 Mexico          Universum, Museo de las Ciencias, Mexico City 
 342 Netherlands     National Museum of the History of Science and 
Medicine in Leiden 
 343 New Zealand     Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, 
 344 Nicaragua 
 345 Niger 
 346 Nigeria 
 347 Norway          Geological Museum, Natural History Museum, Oslo 
 348 Pakistan 
 349 Panama 
 350 Paraguay 
 351 Peru 
 352 Philippines 
 353 Portugal 
 354 Qatar 
 355 Saudi Arabia 
 356 South Africa    Transvaal Museum, Pretoria 
 357 Spain           Museo Naval, Madrid since 2007; previously in a 
private collection 
 358 Swaziland 
 359 Switzerland     Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne 
 360 Tanzania 
 361 Thailand 
 362 Togo 
 363 Tunisia 
 364 Turkey 
 365 United Kingdom  Natural History Museum, London 
 366 Uruguay 
 367 Venezuela 
 368 VietNam 
 369 Zambia 
 370 Algeria 
 371 Bhutan 
 372 Botswana 
 373 Bulgaria        National Museum of Natural History, Sofia 
 374 Burma 
 375 Cameroon 
 376 Central African Republic 
 377 Mozambique 
 378 Cyprus          Never presented as a result of government coup; 
retained by US Embassy in Cyprus; last reported (2003) by son of US 
diplomat as in his custody. 
 379 Czechoslovakia 
 380 Guinea Equatorial 
 381 Ethiopia 
 382 Fiji 
 383 France          Palais de la Dācouverte, Paris 
 384 Gambia 
 385 Ghana 
 386 Guinea Republic 
 387 Hungary 
 388 Kenya 
 389 Kuwait 
 390 Laos            "Haw Kham" Royal Palace Museum, Luang Prabang 
 391 Lesotho 
 392 Libya 
 393 Madagascar 
 394 Malawi 
 395 Malaysia 
 396 Maldives 
 397 Mali 
 398 Mauritania 
 399 Mauritius 
 400 Morocco 
 401 Nepal           National Museum of Nepal, Kathmandu 
 402 Oman 
 403 Poland          Olsztynskie Planetarium i Obserwatorium 
Astronomiczne, Olsztyn 
 404 Romania         Reported among auctioned possessions of dictator 
 405 Rwanda 
 406 Senegal 
 407 Sierra Leone 
 408 Singapore       Singapore Science Centre 
 409 Somali 
 410 Sri Lanka 
 411 Sudan 
 412 Trinidad & Tobago 
 413 USSR 
 414 United Arab Emirates   Al Ain National Museum 
 415 Upper Volta 
 416 Yemen 
 417 Yugoslavia      Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrad, Serbia 
 418 Zaire 
 419 not distributed, still at NASA 
 420 Bangladesh 
 421 Liechtenstein 
 422 Monaco 
 423 Nauru 
 424 San Marino 
 425 Tonga 
 426 Vatican         Vatican Museum 
 427 West Samoa 
 428 Chile           Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santiago 
 429 Sweden          National Museum of Science and Technology, 
Ambassador of exploration moonrocks 
    During preparation of this article, collectSPACE suggested 
including that I discuss a third category, the 'Ambassador of 
exploration' moonrocks. These are not gifts but their ceremonies are 
often reported as a gift presentation. 
    In order to recognize the sacrifices and dedication of the 
Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts, each is presented a moon rock 
as part of a special ceremony. In addition to astronauts, select other 
persons are honored who played a specially significant role in the 
furtherance of the American human space program. 
    The moon rocks awarded are each part of a sample returned by the 
Apollo 17 mission from the Taurus-Littrow Valley. Each is encased in 
an acrylic sphere and attached to a plaque bearing images of a Saturn 
V rocket launch, an astronaut (John Young) jumping on the Moon, the 
planet Mars and the International Space Station. 
    The lunar samples remain the property of NASA, but the astronauts 
and their surviving families, in coordination with NASA, select a 
museum or other educational institution where their awards will be 
publicly displayed in their name to help inspire a new generation of 
    The award celebrates the "realization of a vision" for exploration 
first articulated by President John F Kennedy in May 1961, when NASA's 
fledgling human space flight program had little more than 15 minutes 
of space flight experience. In addition to the moon rocks, each of the 
34 astronauts (nine now deceased) are named by NASA as "Ambassadors of 
    As Ambassadors of Exploration, the recipients will help NASA 
communicate the benefits and excitement of space exploration and "why 
the continuing investment in our future is vital to the security and 
vitality of America." 
    Several honorees as at mid November 2009 did not yet designated a 
display site for NASA's evaluation and approval;. They are listed at 
the end of the table. There is no time limit to find a location. When 
one is determined, arrangements for a ceremony are made. 
 Date         Astronaut/Person  Moonrock display 
 -----------  ----------------  -------------------------------
 2005 Apr 18  Neil Armstrong    Cincinnati Museum Center,
                                Cincinnati OH
 2005 May 12  Gene Cernan       National Museum of Naval Aviation,
                                Pensacola FL
 2005 Jul 12  Tom Stafford      Stafford Air and Space Museum,
                                Weatherford OK 
 2005 Jul 20  John Young        Museum of Natural Science, Houston TX 
 2005 Oct  7  Walt Cunningham   Frontiers of Flight Museum,
                                Dallas TX
 2005 Nov 16  Wally Schirra     San Diego Aerospace Museum,
                                San Diego CA
 2005 Nov.19  Dick Gordon       The Museum of Flight, Seattle WA 
 2006 Feb  5  Ed Mitchell       South Florida Science Museum,
                                West Palm Beach FL 
 2006 Feb  9  Stuart Roosa      US Astronaut Hall of Fame,
                                Titusville FL
 2006 Feb  9  Michael Collins   Cradle of Aviation Museum,
                                Garden City LI
 2006 Feb 20  John Glenn        John Glenn Institute of Public Service 
                                and Public Policy, Columbus OH 
 2006 Feb 22  Deke Slayton      Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bike 
                                Museum, Sparta WI 
 2006 Feb 28  Walter Cronkite   Center for American History,
                                Austin TX
 2006 Mar 25  Buzz Aldrin       California Science Center,
                                Los Angeles CA 
 2006 May  8  Frank Borman      Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson AZ 
 2006 May  8  Charlie Duke      Admiral Farragut Academy
                                St Petersburg FL
 2006 Sep 30  Chris Kraft       Virginia Tech University College of 
                                Engineering, Blacksburg VA 
 2006 Oct  6  Jim McDivitt      University of Michigan College of 
                                Engineering, Ann Arbor MI 
 2006 Nov 18  Pete Conrad       The Museum of Flight, Seattle WA 
 2007 Sep 28  Gus Grissom       Walt Disney World Resort: Epcot,
                                Orlando FL 
 2007 Oct  6  Roger Chaffee     Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, 
                                Purdue University, West Lafayette IN 
 2007 Oct 23  Donn Eisele       Broward Public Library,
                                Ft Lauderdale FL
 2007 Nov 10  Scott Carpenter   Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 
                                Denver CO 
 2007 Dec  6  Gene Kranz        Central Catholic High School,
                                Toledo OH 
 2008 May 23  Jack Swigert      Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space 
                                Museum, Denver CO 
 2009 Jan 21  Vance Brand       Museum & Cultural Center,
                                Longmont CO
 2009 Mar 26  Ken Mattingly     Auburn University, Auburn AL
 2009 Apr  3  James Lovell      Patuxent River Naval Air Museum,
                                Lexington Park MD
 2009 Jul 20  John F Kennedy    Fondren Library, Rice University,
                                Houston TX  
 2009 Jul 30  Al Worden         Apollo/Saturn V Center,
                                Kennedy Space Center FL
 2009 Dec  2  Fred Haise        Gorenflo Elementary School,
                                Biloxi MS
              Bill Anders       TBA
              Alan Bean         TBA
              Gordon Cooper     TBA
              Ronald Evans      TBA
              Jim Irwin         TBA
              Harrison Schmitt  TBA
              Rusty Schweickart TBA
              David Scott       Science Museum, London, England (TBA)
              Alan Shepard      TBA
              Edward White      TBA
    The huge fraction of Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moonrock that are 
missing is incredible! While it could be agrued that many overseas 
recipients just don't have the competence to curate a national 
treasure, the situation is no better within the United States. 
    Again it must be understanded that a blank simply means the rock 
is not accounted for. It does not mean that it is really lost or 
stolen. A few specimina were reported as stolen, as indicated in the 
tables. News about their eventual recovery or confirmed irretrievable 
loss is covered in the news media and collectSPACE's website.