Dec 09, 2022
By Jeremy Logan
Fifty years after U.S. astronauts brought it back from the moon’s surface, a small piece of extraterrestrial rock has finally reached its intended destination, the east Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus.
The 1.1 gram chunk of moon rock was on display Thursday at a celebration honouring the 50th anniversary of the last of the United States’ manned lunar missions and the Artemis spacecraft, which is now orbiting the moon.
The plastic globe housing the moon sample has an attached plaque that is positioned underneath a miniature Cyprus flag.
It was one of 270 such lunar samples that the Nixon administration sent to other nations as presents after moon landings in 1969 and 1972.
But the item vanished as Cyprus reeled amid war and internal strife in 1974 and wound up back in the U.S. and locked in a vault at NASA.