back to article Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust

A woman has sued NASA, claiming to be the rightful owner of a small vial of moon dust supposedly given to her by Neil Armstrong. The lawsuit was filed under the US District Court of Kansas last week by Laura Murray Cicco. She claims that when she was ten, her mother handed her a glass vial with a rubber stopper containing …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Re: Why did they put a flag on it then?

    Or did they?

    (Yes, yes they did).

  2. Gordon861

    Re: Nice idealistic treaty.

    Iron Sky ... damn I wish they'd hurry and release part two.

  3. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Heavy handed treatment for possession of dirt

    While the ownership of moon rock/dust/dirt brought (returned?) to earth via Apollo probably does rest with NASA, I see no reason to treat anyone else in possession immediately as a criminal, just show them a court order (supreme would be nice) saying it's ours - now hand it over and we'll be on our way.

    I doubt any recovered samples would be considered fit for analysis now beyond proving it is actually moon dust.

    On a lighter note, how did the astronauts get their trophies past officialdom in the first place?

  4. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Re: Heavy handed treatment for possession of dirt

    On a lighter note, how did the astronauts get their trophies past officialdom in the first place?

    It was presumably a different place back then, when things were more relaxed, less lawyered-up. I imagine if an astronaut asked if they could keep some physical memento of their ventures it was often simply 'sure, why not'.

    Only later did they come to see that The Precious had escaped their clutches and, since then, seem to have ruthlessly attempted to take back everything they can.

  5. Gordon Pryra

    Re: Heavy handed treatment for possession of dirt

    "I doubt any recovered samples would be considered fit for analysis now beyond proving it is actually moon dust."

    Which is the problem, be embarrassing if the truth finally came out

  6. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Re: Heavy handed treatment for possession of dirt

    My Dad cam home with a vial with a lump of moon rock in it that had been passed to the university he worked at. Never opened the vial but it came within 1/16th of an inch of my hand.

    Boring looking TBH, but what it did to my imagination!

  7. spold Bronze badge
    IT Angle

    It's probably just one of the pots of pepper he gave out to make people happy. Who is going to sprinkle it on their steak to find out?

  8. spold Bronze badge
    IT Angle

    ...well if it was moondust and I sprinkled it on my steak and ate it, then when I popped my clogs and was cremated then my surviving rellies would have a lot more to work with and could bottle me up for sale with a legitimate claim of "contains real moondust".

  9. Trumpet Winsock

    So a sort of " Homeopathic " Moon dust then.

  10. ravenviz Silver badge

    Re: IT?

    The article was posted in the Science section.

  11. A. Coatsworth
    Joke

    Don't do that!

    Moon dust is awfully carcinogen... great for all sorts of mad science, but carcinogen nonetheless... Ask Cave Johnson!

  12. Rusty 1
    Go

    Carousel

    So what's going to happen if some being from the moon comes to Earth, pilfers something pretty important/valuable and takes it home, only for someone from Earth to go to the moon and retrieve it?

    Finders keepers?

  13. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Alien

    Re: Carousel

    If being from the moon can stand up when they get here I'll be impressed :)

    Finders keepers indeed if you can make the round trip without being noticed! but what would be worth the cost?

  14. Rusty 1

    Re: Carousel

    All they have to do is nick, for example, all Van Gogh's works. As superior beings, they will have nailed teleportation (so the initial capture is easy); all the Earth-based compatriate has to do is get to the moon and back. For many oodles of mega $, that should be easy.

  15. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Carousel

    "All they have to do is nick, for example, all Van Gogh's works. As superior beings, they will have nailed teleportation (so the initial capture is easy); all the Earth-based compatriate has to do is get to the moon and back. For many oodles of mega $, that should be easy."

    Sounds like the plot for a 1980's 8-bit platformer :-)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Artifacts, Not samples, rocks or dust.

    Who got the ray gun?

  17. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Michael Collins

  18. DCFusor Silver badge

    Seems like

    They almost want to encourage the conspiracy nuts. Yeah, I get it that a market in fake moon or other space stuff would be bad as well (maybe a zillionth as bad as the drug market?), but gee, this is heavy handed. It's not like NASA was losing anything by not having this vial, or was planning on selling it to recoup costs...that, um, we taxpayers paid, not them.

  19. Locky
    Facepalm

    "Armstrong - who was the first person to set foot on the Moon"

    Thanks El Reg, it's these insightful editorial nuggest of information that keep us all coming back for more

  20. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: "Armstrong - who was the first person to set foot on the Moon"

    "Thanks El Reg, it's these insightful editorial nuggest of information that keep us all coming back for more"

    Well, it was a long time ago, probably before some of the readers were born. Are you feeling old yet?

  21. DiViDeD Silver badge

    Re: "Are you feeling old yet?"

    Worse than that is having coherent conversations about politics with people who were barely born when 9/11 happened.

  22. Androgynous Cow Herd
    Black Helicopters

    The real reason for NASA focus on soil samples

    NASA knows if that sample were analyzed by a good independent lab, the results would prove the sample came from the region around Area 51 where the moon landing was staged

  23. ken jay

    nasa hiding the truth the soil came from area 51 then

  24. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "nasa hiding the truth the soil came from area 51 then"

    Nah, they did that at the even more secret Area 52. (also the title of the latest Ancient Aliens episode, so it must be true!)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like someone at NASA has read Moonseed and decided better safe than sorry.

  26. FlippingGerman

    Possession is...

    Who actually has the dust in their possession? Is she suing because NASA nicked it off her and she wants it back, or is this preemptive?

  27. StrangeEntities

    Nobody Owns Anything

    "The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth".

    Everything is ultimately made from non-material waves, so ownership is a fleeting illusion because there is nothing to own.

  28. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: Nobody Owns Anything

    That's deep you should send that into the Readers Digest. They got a page for people like you.

  29. B.Real

    The reason they must have the rocks and dust they claim fame from the Apollo Moon missions is quite simple. They lied to the world and never went to the moon. They were in low earth orbit the entire time. The rocks came from Antarctica. They went there right before Apollo to gather meteorites and took them back to NASA ceramics lab where they pulverized some to dust. That’s why it has earth dust mixed in. Moreover, some of the “moon” rocks they gave to various countries were eventually tested and were nothing more than petrified wood. So, to prevent more embarrassment, they want the fake samples back. Supposedly the moon is rich in rare metals and helium 3. If we could go to the moon, we would be there now.

    Think about it. It’s like the wright brothers 1st flight and 60 years later it still hasn’t been repeated.

  30. Michael Habel Silver badge

    I hear...

    A certin CEO over at Aperture Science would love to get his hands on the stuff.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am sure I saw a documentary where someone had built a Lunamax prison to house undesirable Aliens?

  32. GnuTzu Bronze badge
    WTF?

    Ageist Elder Abuse by Law Enforcement?

    "the 74-year-old and her husband were grilled.. for two hours, where she wet herself after pleas to use the toilet were ignored."

    Indictments are needed.

  33. harmjschoonhoven
    WTF?

    Bah, moondust

    I go for the Allende meteorite with real interstellar microdiamonds ****.

  34. remyzero

    ummmm....who`s money does NASA spend ???????????????????

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