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A woman who tried to sell what she said was a rare piece of moon rock for $1.7 million was detained when her would-be buyer turned out to be an undercover NASA agent, officials said Friday.
The gray rocks, which are considered national treasures and are illegal to sell, were given to each U.S. state and 136 countries by then-President Richard Nixon after U.S. moon missions and can sell for millions of dollars on the black market.
Sheriff's Sgt. Todd Pauling said he had little information about the case and referred questions to NASA.
Pauling said that assisting with a NASA investigation was a first for him.
"It was kind of like an episode of the X-Files," he joked.
"They literally swooped in there ... and then they left." www.pe.com...
NASA agents notified the Riverside County Sheriff's Department this week that they had been investigating the potential illegal sale of a moon rock for several months and planned a sting operation, a sheriff's news release said.
After some conversation with the woman, NASA agents and sheriff's deputies closed in on the restaurant, taking the woman and the rock into custody.
Originally posted by pez1975
now that i think about it i may be one of the few people in the world that has ever touched moon dust i can tell u it feels like baby powderedit on 22-5-2011 by pez1975 because: (no reason given)
January 30, 2006: Moondust. "I wish I could send you some," says Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan. Just a thimbleful scooped fresh off the lunar surface. "It's amazing stuff."
Feel it—it's soft like snow, yet strangely abrasive.
Taste it—"not half bad," according to Apollo 16 astronaut John Young.
Sniff it—"it smells like spent gunpowder," says Cernan.
How do you sniff moondust? science.nasa.gov...