In May of last year, we followed the story of former astronaut Scott Parazynski, as he climbed Mt. Everest to collect a piece of the mountain and test out equipment for NASA. During the climb, Parazynski carried a Moon rock that was brought to the Earth by the Apollo 11 mission. Though the journey of this rock has been rather long, it is about to come to an end.
The rock, along with a piece of Mt. Everest that Parazynski collected, will travel to the International Space Station during the next Space Shuttle mission. It and the Mt. Everest rock will be displayed in the Tranquility (*cough* Colbert *cough*) module, which is part of the payload of STS-130.
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Endeavour is currently scheduled to launch on February 7th, 2010 and will carry the Tranquility module, which will provide more life-support systems for the ISS, as well as a seven-windowed cupola that will be used as an observation and control room for control of the robotic arm outside the station.
Interestingly enough, the rock originated in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon, and will be returning to be displayed inside the Tranquility module itself.
The Moon rock and piece of Mt Everest will be presented by Parazynski to STS-130 commander George Zamka this Wednesday, January 6th. You can watch the presentation on NASA TV at 3:30pm CST.
Source: NASA press release