×
S&P 500   3,831.39
DOW   30,967.82
QQQ   286.96
S&P 500   3,831.39
DOW   30,967.82
QQQ   286.96
S&P 500   3,831.39
DOW   30,967.82
QQQ   286.96
S&P 500   3,831.39
DOW   30,967.82
QQQ   286.96

NASA: Give us back our moon dust and cockroaches

Thursday, June 23, 2022 | Mark Pratt, Associated Press


This April 2022 handout photograph provided by RR Auction shows moon dust from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, which was pulled from an auction listing after NASA said the dust, and some cockroaches that were fed the dust, are property of the federal government. (Lawrence McGlynn/RR Auction photo via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — NASA wants its moon dust and cockroaches back.

The space agency has asked Boston-based RR Auction to halt the sale of moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that had subsequently been fed to cockroaches during an experiment to determine if the lunar rock contained any sort of pathogen that posed a threat to terrestrial life.

The material, a NASA lawyer said in a letter to the auctioneer, still belongs to the federal government.

The material from the experiment, including a vial with about 40 milligrams of moon dust and three cockroach carcasses, was expected to sell for at least $400,000, but has been pulled from the auction block, RR said Thursday.

“All Apollo samples, as stipulated in this collection of items, belong to NASA and no person, university, or other entity has ever been given permission to keep them after analysis, destruction, or other use for any purpose, especially for sale or individual display,” said NASA's letter dated June 15.

It went on: “We are requesting that you no longer facilitate the sale of any and all items containing the Apollo 11 Lunar Soil Experiment (the cockroaches, slides, and post-destructive testing specimen) by immediately stopping the bidding process," NASA wrote.

In another letter dated June 22, NASA's lawyer asked RR Auction to work with the current owner of the material to return it to the federal government.

The Apollo 11 mission brought more than 47 pounds (21.3 kilograms) of lunar rock back to Earth. Some was fed to insects, fish and other small creatures to see if it would kill them.

The cockroaches that were fed moon dust were brought to the University of Minnesota where entomologist Marion Brooks dissected and studied them.

“I found no evidence of infectious agents," Brooks, who died in 2007, told the Minneapolis Tribune for an October 1969 story. She found no evidence that the moon material was toxic or caused any other ill effects in the insects, according to the article.


But the moon rock and the cockroaches were never returned to NASA, instead displayed at Brooks' home. Her daughter sold them in 2010, and now they are up for sale again by a consignor who RR did not disclose.

It's not unusual for a third party to lay claim to something that is being auctioned, said Mark Zaid, an attorney for RR Auction.

“NASA has a track record of pursuing items related to the early space programs," although they have been inconsistent in doing so, Zaid said. By its own admission, NASA acknowledged in one of its letters that it did not know about the previous auction of the cockroach experiment items.

“We have worked with NASA before and have always cooperated with the U.S. government when they lay claims to items," Zaid said. “At the end of the day, we want to act appropriately and lawfully."

RR Auction is holding on to the lot for now, but ultimately, it's up to the consignor to work something out with NASA, he said.


7 Retail Stocks That May Still Ring the Register

Despite record-high inflation, supply chain disruption, and increased cost pressures due to rising wages, the retail sector has been one of the better performers in 2022. At this time, many retailers have been easy to pass along their costs to consumers.

The question is how long can that last? Investors will get their first clue when the March 2022 Advance Monthly Retail Report is released on April 14, 2022. However, if you're looking to invest in the sector, it's important to widen your lens. Retail sales slowed sharply in February as opposed to January. However, this is a time when investors have to dive into the report. While some categories are struggling, other categories are outperforming the sector and may continue to do so.

That's the focus of this special presentation. We're taking a look at seven retail stocks that have been solid performers thus far in 2022 and have a solid outlook for the remainder of the year.



View the "7 Retail Stocks That May Still Ring the Register".

Free Email Newsletter

Complete the form below to receive the latest headlines and analysts' recommendations for your stocks with our free daily email newsletter:


Most Read This Week

Recent Articles

Search Headlines:

Latest PodcastIs The Market Near a Bottom, Does it Matter?

Today’s interview is a little different, in that you get a LOT of market perspective from someone who’s been analyzing stocks from the ground up, for more than three decades. In this conversation, Kate chats with Nancy Zambell, the chief analyst for the Cabot Money Club Letter - and Nancy has a really deep and varied background in the financial industry - as she mentions in this interview, she’s been a banker, real estate professional, and a stock market analyst.

MarketBeat Resources

Premium Research Tools

MarketBeat All Access subscribers can access stock screeners, the Idea Engine, data export tools, research reports, and other premium tools.

Discover All Access

Market Data and Calendars

Looking for new stock ideas? Want to see which stocks are moving? View our full suite of financial calendars and market data tables, all for free.

View Market Data

Investing Education and Resources

Receive a free world-class investing education from MarketBeat. Learn about financial terms, types of investments, trading strategies and more.

Financial Terms
Details Here
MarketBeat - Stock Market News and Research Tools logo

MarketBeat empowers individual investors to make better trading decisions by providing real-time financial data and objective market analysis. Whether you’re looking for analyst ratings, corporate buybacks, dividends, earnings, economic reports, financials, insider trades, IPOs, SEC filings or stock splits, MarketBeat has the objective information you need to analyze any stock. Learn more about MarketBeat.

MarketBeat is accredited by the Better Business Bureau MarketBeat is rated as Great on TrustPilot

© American Consumer News, LLC dba MarketBeat® 2010-2022. All rights reserved.
326 E 8th St #105, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | U.S. Based Support Team at contact@marketbeat.com | (844) 978-6257
MarketBeat does not provide personalized financial advice and does not issue recommendations or offers to buy stock or sell any security.

Our Accessibility Statement | Terms of Service | Do Not Sell My Information | RSS Feeds

© 2022 Market data provided is at least 10-minutes delayed and hosted by Barchart Solutions. Information is provided 'as-is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice, and is delayed. To see all exchange delays and terms of use please see disclaimer.