NASA Faces Lawsuit Over Vial of Lunar Dust

When Laura Murray was 10 years old, she received a small glass vial containing light-gray dust from an old friend of her father’s: Neil Armstrong. The vial was paired with a note that said “To Laura Ann Murray — Best of Luck — Neil Armstrong Apollo 11.”

Laura, who’s now Laura Cicco, found the vial years later in her parents’ home after they had passed away. The note has since been authenticated by a handwriting expert to belong to Neil Armstrong. Cicco filed the lawsuit against NASA to get ahead of any potential legal issues since the space agency has a history of confiscating suspected lunar material from citizens.

According to court documents, an expert tested and analyzed the dust, finding that the sample may be from the moon’s surface; however, another test suggested that the sample’s composition is similar to material found on Earth. The expert wrote that it is possible that some material from Earth mixed with the “likely lunar sample”.

Additional Reading: 

Neil Armstrong Gave Her a Vial of Moon Dust, She Says. She’s Suing so NASA Won’t Take ItWashington Post (June 12, 2018)

Cicco v. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Complaint

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