Woman Sues NASA For Ownership Of Vial Of Moon Dust

Submitted by: trimble 3 months ago in News & Politics Science
The contested vial of Moon dust.

She claims it was gift from Apollo veteran Neil Armstrong.

An excerpt from The Register: A woman has sued NASA, claiming to be the rightful owner of a small vial of moon dust supposedly given to her by Neil Armstrong.

The lawsuit was filed under the US District Court of Kansas last week by Laura Murray Cicco. She claims that when she was ten, her mother handed her a glass vial with a rubber stopper containing light grey dust along with one of her father’s business cards.

On the back of the card, there is a message that reads: “To Laura Ann Murray – Best of Luck – Neil Armstrong Apollo 11.” Cicco said her mother assured her that the vial was a sample taken from Armstrong - who was the first person to set foot on the Moon - when he ventured onto the satellite during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. An expert has, apparently, scrutinized the note and believes Armstrong’s signature is real.

“Astronaut Neil Armstrong gifted the vial of lunar dust at issue to Laura Ann Murray, now Laura Murray Cicco, when she was a child, and she is the rightful and legal owner of the vial and its contents. Therefore, she requests judgment declaring her the rightful and legal owner of the vial and its contents, and vesting title in her name,” according to the court documents.

Cicco said her father, Tom Murray, was friends with Armstrong and both men had served in the US military. Murray was as a pilot during World War II, where he trained pilots for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, while Armstrong was a naval aviator in the Korean War aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex before he was an astronaut.

After leaving NASA, Armstrong became a professor at the department of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati, where the Murray family moved to live near in 1970.
There are 14 comments:
Male 656
It's probably just used Gold Bond powder for male itch that Armstrong used in his suit.  Bet they'd find a pube.
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Male 3,983
The government claims ownership - to what end? What is their contention? By what legal theory does the government, alleged servants of the people, funded by the people, claim exclusive ownership of this moon dust.
No doubt, tens if thousands of taxpayer money - if not more - will be spent by the government to have their senseless way.
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Male 2,616
captkangaroo  You make perfect sense, I need a new car so I'm just going to go and take a government car because, well I pay taxes, and the government works for me.
  And if they don't like it they can just spend millions of dollars proving there senseless need for a car. Why should they have exclusive ownership of this car.
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Male 3,983
casaledana 
Apples and zebras, m'dear.
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Male 12,285
meh, who cares?  They gave a piece of petrified wood and tried to pass it off as a moon rock before. so it wouldn't surprise me if the vial was just ash from a bonfire they had in the 60's or something.
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Male 213
monkwarrior It's crack
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Male 269
monkwarrior That wasnt NASA.
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6,407
 all samples are   the property of NASA.  it's not possible to be the rightful owner of stolen property.
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Male 2,472
dm2754 I think you're right. This has happened with moon rocks before and everyone has lost in court on it. It may actually belong to the US government and not actually NASA.
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Male 44,499
If she has the vial what is she suing for?
Not clear and I don't really care enough to research it.
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Male 6,745
My first thought is, Did Neil Armstrong legally own that moon dust?  Unless NASA officially gave him some to give away, i dunno how he could.
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Male 5,117
daegog Maybe, it's in the article, a law passed during the Obama era but it's pretty ambiguous. 
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Male 5,117
I did some Moon Dust back in the day. It was great.
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Male 2,472
trimble Captain, Captain! Mr. Spock has been snorting the Dilithium crystals again!
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