One of a collection of rocks returned from the Apollo manned
missions to the Moon.
| Date of Milestone:
Lunar Basalt returned by Apollo 17 Astronauts
| Artifact Location*:
Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Milestones
of Flight Gallery
This lunar sample was cut from a rock collected
on the surface of the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission in December
1972. Found near the landing site in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow,
it is an iron-rich, fine-textured volcanic rock called basalt. It
is nearly 4 billion years old.
Study of about 382 kilograms (840 pounds)
of lunar materials returned on six Apollo missions confirmed the
absence of life on the Moon. The rocks have provided information
on the Moon's chemistry, environment, and geologic evolution.
Lent by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Apollo Moon Rocks
- Curator's Choice Online