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US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.
While some hold pride of place in museums and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for—they have either gone missing, were stolen or even destroyed over the decades.
List - Recounts - Stories - Moon - Rocks
The list below recounts the stories of some of the missing moon rocks and others that were lost and later found.
It is compiled from research done by Joseph Gutheinz Jr, a retired NASA special agent known as the "Moon Rock Hunter," his students, and collectSPACE, a website which specializes in space history.
Apollo - Apollo - Moon - Rocks - Afghanistan
Both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks presented to perpetually war-wracked Afghanistan have vanished.
One of the moon rocks destined for Cyprus was never delivered due to the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the assassination of the US ambassador the following month.
NASA - Years - Son - US - Diplomat
It was given to NASA years later by the son of a US diplomat but has not been handed over to Cyprus.
Honduras's Apollo 17 moon rock was recovered by Gutheinz and Bob Cregger, a US Postal Service agent, in a 1998 undercover sting operation baptized "Operation Lunar Eclipse."
Florida - Businessman - Alan - Rosen - Honduran
It had been sold to a Florida businessman, Alan Rosen, for $50,000 by a Honduran army colonel. Rosen tried to sell the rock to Gutheinz...
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