Science

US Woman Sues NASA For Keeping A Vial Of Moon Dust Gifted To Her By Neil Armstrong

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| June 13 , 2018 , 13:11 IST

In July 1969, Neil Armstrong created history when he became the first ever man to walk on the lunar surface and somewhere around the 1970s, he supposedly gifted a small glass vial filled with light-grey dust he brought from the moon to a 10-year-old girl named Laura Murray, now Laura Cicco.

Decades after the incident, the little girl has grown into a woman who would fight tooth and nail with NASA for keeping the vial of moon dust with herself. Laura has sued the federal agency to ascertain that it doesn't take back a piece of the moon which was gifted to her by Neil Armstrong.

Filing the lawsuit in a federal court, Laura stated Armstrong was her father's friend, which is why he gifted her the vial of moon dust. Cicco’s father Tom Murray was reportedly a pilot with the US Army where he spent a lot of time together with Armstrong, that became the source of their camaraderie.

Hailing from Cincinnati, Laura claims that she had the alleged moon dust tested before filing a lawsuit on June 6 seeking answers from the U.S. District Court in Kansas regarding its ownership as NASA claims that private citizen can't own lunar material whereas the lady disagrees.

Along with the dust, Armstrong also gave her a note which read, "To Laura Ann Murray – Best of luck – Neal Armstrong Apollo 11." It was written on the back of one of her father's business cards. During the incident's time, Armstrong was teaching at the University of Cincinnati and Cicco also had his signature verified.

The lawsuit stated, "Tom Tague with the Bruker Corporation analyzed the sample and reported it "may have originated from lunar regolith." Her attorney was quoted by a report, "There’s no law prohibiting private citizens from owning materials from the moon and Cicco is the rightful and legal owner of the moon dust."

NASA ruled against the lunar material's ownership by private individuals in 2011 when Joann Davis was caught selling a paperweight with lunar material inside, a gift she had received from her husband, which was later seized in California during a sting conducted by the USD space agency.