Five small moon rocks that the Apollo 11 crew brought back to earth in 1969 have been found tucked away in a St. Paul government storage area, but now will be transferred from the Minnesota National Guard to the Minnesota Historical Society.
The pebble-sized rocks were among the sets brought home, by the astronauts, for each of the 50 states. State officials aren’t sure how they ended up hidden away for so long.
“The Apollo 11 moon rocks were found amongst military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul,” said Army Maj. Blane R. Iffert, former state historian for the Minnesota National Guard. “When I searched the Internet to find additional information about the moon rocks, I knew we had to find a better means to display this artifact.”
The MHS is excited to put the rocks on display.
“We are honored to have this in our collection to preserve for future generations,” said Pat Gaarder, Minnesota Historical Society Deputy Director. “Space exploration is an important part of our shared history. It is also exciting to think that our collection includes artifacts from across the globe and now with these moon rocks, the Galaxy.”
The transfer from the Guard to the Society will take place Wednesday at the Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration (STARBASE) Minnesota, a school program on the Minnesota Air National Guard Base near the airport.