A Different Kind of Lunar Mission: Finding a Moon Rock Lost on Earth

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Everybody knows about Neil Armstrong ’s walk on the moon as it may be one of the most important steps ever took by a man. In 1969, when him and Buzz Aldrin came back from this incredible mission, they brought back various samples which included moon rocks. After the President’s request, NASA organized a display for moon material.

Almost 50 years later, New York is among the four states which are missing their original moon rocks, brought back by Apollo 11. Joseph Gutheinz, who is a former senior special agent at NASA, said that every state received two moon rocks as gifts from the first and the last space trips to the moon.

However, the first moon rock is nowhere to be found. Luckily, Mr. Gutheinz is an expert on finding lost lunar material, which he estimates to be worth about $5 million apiece. The lack of presence of the moon rock is even more evident now, when the State Museum displayed a recovered Native American artifact which was missing for over seven decades.

Gutheinz has been on a hunt for missing moon rocks for over 20 years, first as a NASA special agent, then from pure love for the country. He feels that because the states were really careless and didn’t place enough value, some moon rocks went missing.

This is bad not just because they are worth a fortune but, according to an astronaut with whom Gutheinz spoke, it could make a kid really wish to become a star-man. Besides New York, Delaware, Utah and Louisiana are also missing their moon rock gifts, Louisiana is currently in possession of none.

Mr. Gutheinz has made it his life’s mission to find where New York’s first moon rock is located. Hopefully, he will succeed and will bring it back home.

Dee Mongo

Dee Mongo is a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto and has written for Maclean’s, Motherboard, the National Post, and the Huffington Post. In her spare time, she plays AC/DC on the ukulele and does psychic readings for B-grade celebrities. Dee is our tech/finance correspondent.