Categories: MoonNASA

NASA Nabs Grandma for Trying to Sell Moon Rock

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A 74-year-old grandmother was taken into custody after a NASA sting operation to recover a small shard of a Moon rock. In an Associated Press article, Joanna Davis said the Moon rock was given to her husband by Neil Armstrong in the 1970s, and she was trying to sell the item to take care of her sick son. However, any samples from the Moon are considered government property, and so cannot be sold for profit.

But no charges have been filed and NASA is not commenting on the case.

Davis said she was frightened and bruised during the incident that occurred at a Denny’s restaurant

“They grabbed me and pulled me out of the booth,” Davis told the AP.

Reportedly Davis emailed a NASA contractor on May 10, 2011 trying to find a buyer for the rock, as well as a nickel-sized piece of the heat shield that protected the Apollo 11 space capsule as it returned to earth from the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969.

Neil Armstrong has said previously in a written affidavit that he has never given Moon rocks to private citizens.

While Davis’s attorney called the incident “abhorrent behavior by the federal government to steal something from a retiree that was given to her,” according to AP, Davis apparently knew that what she was doing was against the law.

You can read more in the original AP article.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004. She is the author of a new book on the Apollo program, "Eight Years to the Moon," which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible. Her first book, "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond.

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