back to article NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself

A NASA agent can be sued for allegedly subjecting a 74-year-old granny to a "degrading" two-hour interrogation over a sliver of moon rock. That's according to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which late last week ruled space agency investigator Norman Conley is not, at least in this case, immune …

  1. veti Silver badge

    Entrapment?

    She "emailed NASA for advice on how to sell the trinkets" - but instead of being told "you can't", she got this whole elaborate "sting" runaround?

    That sounds like entrapment to me. (I mean: if she had intended to break the law, she presumably wouldn't have told NASA, of all people, about it beforehand.)

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Entrapment?

      Certainly smells like it. Also, if there was a theft, what is the statute of limitations? The feral goons strike again apparently they fear 70+ grannies. May be the US national anthem should be Offenbach's Gendarme Duet.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: Entrapment?

        [Edit: Ahhh...never mind, I see the recipient encased the artifacts in Lucite.]

        I have no doubt that Neil Armstrong, after his return, visited many NASA contractors and thanked them personally for their work. Maybe he did hand out artifacts, or maybe he just handed out stuff that he pulled out of his pockets when he got home.

        For NASA to now, fifty years after these artifacts were handed out (with warnings that any disposal other than return to NASA was a crime?), become overly concerned with their fate, seems, well, extremely petty.

        But, they do seem to be overly possessive of "souvenirs" that show up on the market...I remember some random stuff showing up over the years, and various court cases. Don't think anyone actually did time, though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Coverup!

          They don't want anyone to run a chemical analysis on them, and reveal where they really came from...

    2. JCitizen
      FAIL

      Re: Entrapment?

      Well, Davis certainly deserves compensation now, even if the paperweights ended up being fakes. Maybe now she can get the help she badly needed in the first place. This kind of heavy handed crap from the Feds just makes me want to puke!

  2. kain preacher Silver badge

    Dick move all around.

  3. doug_bostrom

    Selling bits of the moon to pay medical bills. Only in Aintitgreatistan....

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So some idiot thinks he's John Wayne and does an entrapment/interrogation in the parking lot of a Denny's? With a bunch of cops to take down these 70-year old hardened criminals? Un-freaking believable. Someone needs to take him out behind the woodshed for some extra-special training with a 2 X 4.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Gimp

      @Mark 85.

      Perhaps a 2x4 is a wee bit light for the job. I'm going to suggest a 3x6. Edgewise.

      with a Yuuuuge lever.

      /Yes, that would be the S/M mask.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Louisville slugger wrapped with barbed wire.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "with a Yuuuuge lever."

        Make sure it gives splinters and don't use any lubrication.

        For added bonus pointed tamp it home.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Someone needs to take him out behind the woodshed for some extra-special training with a 2 X 4.

      Given the excessive amount of humanity the man has shown in the process of this entrapment and over-violent (and unwarranted) arrest, it could be more educational to run an entrapment scam on the man and then have it leak that he is a "special investigator" when he gets locked up.

      I'm certain his fellow inmates will make him feel really special indeed.

      WTF is wrong with people? A single sentence "No, selling space stuff is illegal, sorry" would have prevented this (even better would have been "but how about we take it for display and pay you a monthly fee?" as recognition of its origin, but I guess that would have been too human to expect for anything happening in the US). I hope these people get at least double the amount of compensation that the items would have brought if they were sellable or more.

      1. The First Dave

        But, if Armstrong says he didn't hand out anything, then presumably this stuff wasn't real, in which case selling it is fine (although slightly fraudulent...)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But the thought i'd have is

          But, if Armstrong says he didn't hand out anything, then presumably this stuff wasn't real, in which case selling it is fine (although slightly fraudulent...)

          If he was only informed this after handing it out, of course he's going to deny it.

          Just like Lance Armstrong denied doping whilst getting paid large sums of money.

          1. JCitizen
            Thumb Down

            Re: But the thought i'd have is

            Armstrong has been dead for years, so they are going on historic statements? Pretty weak if you ask me!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But the thought i'd have is

              Armstrong has been dead for years, so they are going on historic statements? Pretty weak if you ask me!

              So he can't testify in court that he DIDN'T give the gifts as claimed.

            2. Uffish

              Re: Armstrong

              Niel ? Lance ? One of them is not the Armstrong you are looking for.

    3. VanguardG

      Were there any cops? I must've missed it...I just saw two NASA employees, neither of whom was legit law enforcement at all. NASA has repeatedly embarrassed itself by taping over the moon landing data (what little they didn't lose outright) and having a very significant amount of lunar rock missing. Two interns at Johnson Space Center stole a SIX HUNDRED POUND SAFE (for those of you on the other side of the Pond, that's the WEIGHT, not the cost, of the safe), which contained 101 grams of moon rock, which they tried to sell.

      Let the idiots prove they can actually keep track of what they have before they spend tax money shaking down grandmothers. Right now, they look like a bunch of idiots trying to cover up their incompetence with belligerence.

      1. John F***ing Stepp

        Moonstone Kops

        All hanging off the side of a lunar rover and wagging what we can only hope are pool noodles.

        (now I've that image in my head the rest of the night)

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    FAIL

    Our current Petty Tyrant of the Week winner!!

    So a grandmother calls about selling a tiny sliver of moon rock so she can take care of her son and grandkids, and this guy's response to to insert her into a sting operation?

    Well, if he gets fired from NASA, he can always get a job handling overbooked flights for United.

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    This raises several questions...

    Like why does NASA even have "agens". AFAIK they are not a law enforcement agency?

    Or like who authorised this "operation"?

    As to "All samples taken from our natural satellite on the Apollo missions are the property of the US government and cannot be hawked legally." - what about the Moon rocks the US government gave away? Thinking of it, there better not be any Moon rocks that somehow ended up in North Korea! (On the other hand, dispatching Norman to get those back does kinda has a certain appeal.)

    1. MrZoolook
      IT Angle

      They can presumably be given away, just not sold. Or indeed stolen, which might be the case if Armstrong was telling the truth that he didn't give moonrock to anyone personally.

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Agent is this usage is legal term meaning you are working on some ones behave or you representative.

  7. DougS Silver badge

    Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

    Sure I guess it is stolen government property, but since the thief was apparently a national hero, and a deceased one at that, they picked on people who at worse were guilty of unknowing possession of stolen property.

    What's NASA going to do when China or SpaceX or Apple bring back a ton of moon rocks and put them up for sale, or use them to build the "20th anniversary iPhone, regolith edition"!

    1. MrZoolook

      Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

      "What's NASA going to do when China or SpaceX or Apple bring back a ton of moon rocks"

      Knowing how patent law in in America works, probably just claim patent on owning moonrock. Isn't that how things like this are solved?

      (edit)

      Of course, if Apple manage to land on the moon, they'll retroactively patent it anyway, and call it iMoon. Then sue everyone who's ever looked at it.

      1. Ogi
        Coat

        Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

        > Of course, if Apple manage to land on the moon, they'll retroactively patent it anyway, and call it iMoon. Then sue everyone who's ever looked at it.

        I am not sure, I think it is more Apple's style to patent the "Look and feel" of the moon, and sue anyone who owns something that is round and mildly reflective. :-)

        Sorry. Mines the dull non rounded one on the hook.

        1. sniperpaddy

          Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

          ...rounded corners !!!! HA HA !!!!

        2. VanguardG

          Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

          I think you just described the heads of half the people I work with....round and mildly reflective.

      2. PNGuinn
        FAIL

        Re: iMoon

        Nope. Prior art.

        So sue the ar*e off google for showing ar*e on street view ...

        Popcorn!

      3. kurios

        Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

        Well, it does have rounded corners...

      4. madick

        Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

        Apple already have a patent on the Moon - it's got rounded corners.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

      Because they don't want the sample ending up in the hands of someone who'll test it and find out they got it off the beach at Skegness and the whole moon thing is a fake...

      </tinfoil hat>

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

        someone who'll test it and find out they got it off the beach at Skegness and the whole moon thing is a fake...

        I've been telling people for years that Skeggie Clock Tower is really a rocket ship but no-one ever believed me. Maybe now my day has come!

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

          "I've been telling people for years that Skeggie Clock Tower is really a rocket ship but no-one ever believed me."

          Flash Gordon parked _his_ rocketship at EC3A 8EP, so I'm happy to believe Skeggie has one too.

      2. PNGuinn
        Mushroom

        Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

        "Because they don't want the sample ending up in the hands of someone who'll test it and find out they got it off the beach at Skegness and the whole moon thing is a fake..."

        Knicked off the beach at Skeggy??

        Shirly that's a crime??

        Perhaps Skeggy council should send a few of its nicer summer visitors over to NASA to give 'em a right ... er, talking to.

        >> if they've got any teeth left afterwards, that is.

    3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

      "stolen government property"

      Is it? Doesn't some UN agreement or other prevent anyone claiming the Moon? I'd like to see this argued in court. If I buy some transparent paper weight with a bit of Moon rock, the rock being owned by no one, can I be dealing in stolen property?

      1. Eltonga

        Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

        Mnope... only bits brought back in their Apollo missions. To be fair, they could say that they paid for them dearly and are legit keepers.

      2. VanguardG
        Joke

        Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

        No one can claim the moon or any portion thereof as sovereign territory. So NASA decided to go and retrieve it piece by piece. Once they have enough, they'll assemble their own moon. Its a lot cheaper to send astronauts to the moon when you have your own version on the front lawn. Matter of fact, you could make it a punishment..."Five laps around the moon and back. That'll teach you to nap during training!"

    4. Mark Dempster

      Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

      Russia returned samples from the moon robotically, although after Apollo 11 got there.

      As for NASA's rocks, we have some of them in the UK (held by PPARC) which regularly go out on loan to schools etc. I'd be very surprised if they still have 100% of what they started with!

  8. unitron
    Holmes

    So, basically...

    ...this NASA "space sheriff" or whatever he is, just called Neil Armstrong a liar?

    Seriously, that's the provenance he offers to prove that it really is a moon rock?

  9. tedleaf

    See,the problem this case raises again,was Armstrong a liar,senile or badly forgetful ?

    This is at least the fourth time I have heard of folk be given tiny samples by Armstrong by folk you I'd hardly expect to lie and yet he was quite insistent that he never gave any away..

    I though a deal was done after a recent case that they are the property of the individual but become government property on that one persons death but that nasa would offer "fair" price if handed over before death ?

    or was that just one states answer ?

    1. Toni the terrible
      Trollface

      Do you think Armstrong truly didn't GIVE anything away but Sold it?

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "This is at least the fourth time I have heard of folk be given tiny samples by Armstrong by folk you I'd hardly expect to lie and yet he was quite insistent that he never gave any away.."

      I'm pretty sure that of he admitted to it, people like this "Agent" would have broken out the bamboo splinters to make Neil 'fess up about who he'd given them too.

      The reality is that NASA freely gave away a lot of bits of technology and samples to retiring staff and major contributors in the 1960s as a way of non-monetary appreciation for the effort they'd put in and this policy change only came into effect in the late 1970s with a hell of a lot of retconning to say they'd never allowed it and all stuff given away in the past must have been stolen.

      Coincidentally that policy reversal happened in the aftermath of the 'theft' of the 600lb safe full of moon rocks - where some versions of the story are that the interns were told the safe was surplus to requirements and they could take it away. It was the attempt to auction off the 'tossed out' moonrocks and ensuing publicity that led to the public change in position. I know of some 'interesting' pieces of Mercury/Gemini/Apollo history in various places across the world in the possession of families of ex-program members, but many more "interesting" pieces were simply surplussed out and sold off at govt auction by paper pushers who had zero idea of the historic value of the "junk" they were dumping.

  10. Chairo
    Unhappy

    I never thought I would ever say this...

    Shame on you, NASA!

  11. SeanC4S

    That was a clanger.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
    2. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Pint

      Clanger..

      > That was a clanger

      No, these are clangers.

      1. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: Clanger..

        "No, these are clangers."

        This is fake new folks! Fake news! I know, bigly that no such knitted creatures were found on the moon and we never went there Folks. We are the greatest. A great, great nation and we never went there. My best friend Barroom Bill says we never went there and he's a great American Folks, a great, great man. Me was in 'Nam and Iraq and that other place. He's sure we never went to the moon Folks and he sold me this tinfoil helmet that Ivanka will sell to you. It's a $80 savings folks. It's great, the greatest. We're a great nation and great, great nation that went to the moon and we did everything better than those Chinese who live in Chai-Nah, Chai-Nah, I like saying Chai-Nah to I'm going to say it a lot. Chai-Nah. Hey, I can get my head in this rubber glove. Look at me I'm in a glove. I'm choking... choking, Chai-Nah...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Clanger..

          @Lotaresco,

          So, you've discovered the secret have you? Just slander all things Usaian in the most juvenile way possible and watch the El Reg upvotes roll in!

          I shall watch your future totals with interest. Good luck! ;-/

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clanger..

        Oliver Postgate (creator of the Clangers and many other delights): where is he now when the world needs peoiple like him more than ever before?

        Occasionally he ventured outside kids TV too:

        "Belt up!” said God in a voice of thunder. “Stop niggling about your home-made house rules. What I want to know is important – What happened to all that money?

        “What money?” asked the Devil.

        “There’s this joker in France who says he has “lost” something like forty billion pounds of other people’s money! Well then, where is it? You can’t lose the entire wealth of a nation, even a small one. It must be somewhere. So who has got it? And what the blazes are they going to do with it? Buy themselves a new three-piece suite?”

        [continues]"

        from

        http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/oliver-postgate/2008/02/money-devil-god-bank

  12. kurios

    This is one more illustration of how my country's law enforcement has become militarized - or Rambo-ized, maybe.

    In a just world, Conley would be fired and Davis would be compensated for having been abused.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Law and justice are seldom the same thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It wasn't law enforcers doing this; They are professionals. This was a jumped up bureau-clown and yes, many formerly benign federal agencies have militarized themselves recently, mostly on Obama's watch. We conservatives have been warning of this for many years. Nice to see the progs are finally catching on, now that Obama is gone.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "In a just world, Conley would be fired and Davis would be compensated for having been abused."

      Refer to the last couple of verses of "O Superman" (From United States I-IV)

  13. Bloodbeastterror

    Not again...

    Almost every story I read about America incredibly brings my opinion even lower. An increasingly stupid procedure-driven populace heading well towards Idiocracy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwZ0ZUy7P3E).

    The people who put men on the moon are a diminishingly small minority.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not again...

      The people who put men on the moon are a diminishingly small minority.

      That's because quite a few of them have passed away. Evidently, they didn't breed :(.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Not again...

      "heading well towards Idiocracy"

      Heading? And we're following.

      1. OrientalHero
        Joke

        Re: Not again...

        Surely it was Lunacy they were heading towards...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not again...

      a free or antagonistic press is guaranteed to make anyone look bad.

      any nation that looks "real good" in the media?

      has a media completely under control of that nation's leadership.

    4. fishman

      Re: Not again...

      "Almost every story I read about America incredibly brings my opinion even lower."

      Brexit.

      1. Mandoscottie
        Joke

        Re: Not again...

        @Fishman

        Trump........

        we win.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not again...

          No, America won. You lost, loser.

    5. J__M__M

      Re: Not again...

      Could you please step outside for a moment? If you live in a quiet neighborhood, don't mind the very faint buzzing noise overhead.

    6. VanguardG

      Re: Not again...

      Unfortunately, the vast majority of people (both in government service and not) do their jobs reasonably well and with a level of acceptable intelligence. But nobody writes about THAT....people doing things right? BORING!!!!

      So we get these stories showing idiots on parade. But few if these stories have any followup, showing that (maybe) these two idiots got roasted by their bosses once their actions came to light. Or, alternately, were perhaps praised because their bosses are just as stupid as they are. Thing is, we don't know.

      And somehow, I think the people tasked with trying to keep track of rocks are not the people who design rockets and space capsules. I envision a different educational criteria...Rocket scientist = math, science, physics...rock-finder=watching movies about bar-bouncers and sports-hooliganism.

  14. MJI Silver badge

    Totally ridiculous.

    Heavy handedness and cruelity towards 70+ old lady.

    Having to raise money by any means for medical treatment.

    Really nasty entrapment against the elderly lady. (Pretending to be broker).

    As to Neil Armstrong, I would guess he had a few slithers and gave them to people as presents but denied it to avoid upsetting the goons who go around upsetting old ladies.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Totally ridiculous.

      "As to Neil Armstrong, I would guess he had a few slithers..."

      Are you calling Neil Armstrong a snake?

      I think the word you are looking for is slivers.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Totally ridiculous.

        Come on, we all know Armstrong was replaced by a shape-shifting reptiloid alien when he didn't go to the moon. 'Slithers' is a perfectly reasonable slip of the forked tongue.

  15. wolfetone Silver badge

    It's a joke considering NASA don't even know where all of the moon rocks they collected have ended up.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel like Tim the enchanter out of the holy grail.

    I told you.

    Clearly this is evidence that the moon landings were indeed faked. How else would you explain their actions in relation to the fake moon rock?

    I'm just waiting for the lizards to slip up now.

    For clarity here's a link,

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/sarcasm

  17. Potemkine Silver badge

    Pay to live and live to pay

    Is there any other country dubbing itself as 'civilized' where doctors can make a diagnosis by calling your bank? "You've got no money, then you are not ill".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay to live and live to pay

      Is there any other country dubbing itself as 'civilized' where doctors can make a diagnosis by calling your bank? "You've got no money, then you are not ill".

      Completely untrue. They'll make the diagnosis, you just don't get any treatment in the doctor's office - you have to go to an emergency room, where they have to see you.

      1. AdamWill

        Re: Pay to live and live to pay

        ...sure, they have to see you. Then send you an extremely large bill you have no prospect of paying.

        This absurd system is also why large chunks of your population go to the emergency room for care that could be provided much better and for much less money elsewhere, without tying up the resources intended for dealing with, you know, *emergencies*; it's a major reason why you spend far more money for far worse outcomes than just about every other developed nation.

        But by all means, stick with it! Jeez.

  18. imanidiot Silver badge

    slow clap

    Well done NASA goon. Exemplary action...

  19. Aqua Marina Silver badge
    Trollface

    Time to voice your disapproval...

    ...on their facebook page

    https://www.facebook.com/NASA/

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Time to voice your disapproval...

      I hate what happened as much the rest of us here, but no enough to create a facebook account!

  20. W4YBO

    The worst thing is...

    ...since they got the samples back, Norman Conley's bosses probably still consider the "sting" a success.

  21. Hoe

    NASA Don't own the moon!!!

    NASA Don't own the moon!!!

    Cheeky bastards!

    1. Farnet

      Re: NASA Don't own the moon!!!

      I am wrong in remembering that America in the 50's / 60's had a plan to blow up the moon in a show of military might against Russia.

      (not joking, I seem to remember a report on the news a year or two ago about it, along with other daft plans being thrown around)

      1. Nolveys Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: NASA Don't own the moon!!!

        I am wrong in remembering that America in the 50's / 60's had a plan to blow up the moon in a show of military might against Russia.

        They tried, but the valve stem was metric.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NASA Don't own the moon!!!

        I am wrong in remembering that America in the 50's / 60's had a plan to blow up the moon in a show of military might against Russia.

        According to Stephenson, just breaking the moon into a few chunks will doom life on earth in a few years.

      3. Farnet

        Re: NASA Don't own the moon!!!

        For the thumbs down (though shalt not mock the USA) person, here is a link.... if you search there is a lot about it on the net.

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/11/26/u-s-planned-cold-war-mission-to-blow-up-the-moon-is-that-even-possible/#48560f3c1f92

    2. Eltonga
      Headmaster

      Re: NASA Don't own the moon!!!

      They don't claim they do... they just say they own what was brought back by the men they sent in the spaceships they paid. Or don't you say you own a piece of rock you bring back with you from a vacation in the beach?

      1. Sweep

        Re: NASA Don't own the moon!!!

        Removing shore material is actually illegal, at least in the UK. So no, you wouldn't own it.

  22. Dan McIntyre

    Ah land of the free.

    Hahahahahahahaha! Free. Ha!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This happened in 2011 and here we are in 2017. How is the son doing?

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Well if you look at a the sequence of events, arrest followed b the refusal of the court to prosecute, followers by an appeal to all prosecution followed by.....

      One view of the US 'judicial' system ->>>>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      how're the relatives?

      they'll be doing great with the payout.

  24. Adrian Midgley 1

    And the NHS scores

    again.

    Keep it, it is good.

  25. chivo243 Silver badge
    Flame

    what a turd

    can't say little enough about that douche...

  26. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Legality

    Perhaps a visit to

    http://loweringthebar.net/2011/06/feds-seize-alleged-moon-rock.html

    will help clear things up. Especially the part that explains that _having_ a moon rock is not in fact illegal, although _stealing_ one is, as is fraudulently claiming to have one for sale when in fact you have just come back from the beach. OTOH, SCOTUS ruled a while back that lying is perfectly OK for officers of te law, unless they do it under oath, in court, with a judge that cares.

  27. heyrick Silver badge
    WTF?

    Degrading...?

    The two hour humiliation was "degrading", but telling the world that your name is Joann Davis, you're 74, and you peed yourself while being interrogated by a power-happy jerk whilst trying to sell a bit of Moon (!) is not?

  28. AdamWill

    "All moon rock ever is owned by the US government and no-one can possibly sell it!" is NASA's preferred line, but is not universally accepted by people who know stuff about the law, FWIW.

    http://loweringthebar.net/2017/04/ninth-circuit-moon-rock-sting-case.html

  29. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Terrorists win

    I don't mean to trivialize the loss of life on 9/11 - indeed I lost a good friend - but it's becoming obvious that one of the most unfortunate outcomes of the attack is the ascendancy of the 'badge carrying security dickhead'. Prior to our obsession with terrorism, such people were stuck in small towns hiding behind road signs with radar guns. Now they're in charge of major organisations. They breed rapidly and promote their own. We are well and truly screwed

  30. KBeee
    Facepalm

    Moon samples

    I remember a few years ago a TV progrm about one of the Moon landing astronauts that mixed moondust he'd gathered from the creases and crevasses of his moonsuit (not from the official samples/specimens) mixed them with paint, and painted pictures containing real moondust. No doubt he is now doing Life + 99 years.

  31. Matthew Brasier

    Some facts

    My father, who was a pretty well respected geologist, was one of the few non-americans to work with NASA moon rocks. They are indeed very protective of them, mostly because the cost of obtaining them was very high, and they are one of the few sources of "uncontaminated" geological samples from the moon. There are plenty of "moon rocks" in the form of lunar meteorites (parts of the moon that got smashed off in impacts and found their way to earth) but these have been lying around on earth for many years, and so are contaminated.

    Part of the value comes from the fact that geological experiments are often destructive - they involve dissolving bits of rock in acid etc - so the rock gets used up over time, and there are no current plans to realistically obtain any more.

    NASA also definately do have "agents" of various types. Having attended the launch of the curiosity rover, they also had what could be described as a small military, who were responsible for enforcing the exclusion zone around the rocket before and during take-off.

  32. Louis Schreurs BEng

    security breech on El Reg or me being a moron

    https://nizowtorquecars.org/9681435550816/25dc64216145115b8785744475f48c4e/4e1d43403a8b22323eacf2caef4a66b6.html

    this showed up for the second time when viewing El REg

  33. geoffslea

    Moon Rock..LOL.. really, you lot are so gullible! You will be trying to tell us men actually walked on the moon next! Oh don't.. it hurts when I laugh this much!

    1. Farnet

      Next you will be telling everyone that the entire space thing is an illusion, and anybody said to have gone into space is involved in a massive conspiracy as outside our planets atmosphere there is nothing....

      all made up by pro evolution science idiots..... The type normal people try ever so hard not to mock but just cant help it

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