Moon rock at Manitoba Museum a 'little jewel,' says planetarium manager
Rare rock was brought back by Apollo 17 mission in 1972, will be on display at museum until June
A piece of the moon has landed in Winnipeg.
The rare moon rock, currently on display at the Manitoba Museum, was brought back by the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 — the last time NASA astronauts went to the moon.
The 200-gram stone, on loan from NASA, is the biggest sample Apollo 17 brought back. It's now sealed in a glass pyramid at the museum.
"It looks like a little jewel sitting there in the exhibit," said Scott Young, manager of the Manitoba Museum's science gallery and planetarium.
The rock is about eight cubic centimetres, and it's being guarded by the tightest security the museum has ever had, according to Young.
The museum actually had to submit its security plan to NASA before the agency would consider sending the rock to Winnipeg.
That's partly because the stone is practically priceless, since it would take billions of dollars to go back to the moon, explained Young.
A federal court in the U.S. once set the value of moon rock at about $51,000 US per gram.
About 90 kilograms of moon rock were brought back to Earth during the Apollo 17 mission. The mission's geologist, Jack Schmitt, plucked what he considered particularly interesting rock samples from the moon's surface, focusing on samples he thought would provide insight into the moon's history.
The moon rock will be on display as part of the Manitoba Museum's exhibit until June 25, 2017.