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On May 16, 2011, the Lake Elsinore Police Department was contacted by agents from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and special agents from the Office of Inspector General. NASA agents were conducting an investigation regarding the illegal sale of a moon rock.
The NASA investigation was conducted over several months and resulted in an undercover meeting set up at a restaurant in Lake Elsinore, on Grape Street. On the morning of May 19, an undercover NASA agent met with the seller of the moon rock and agreed to buy the artifact for approximately 1.7 million dollars. After conversation, the moon rock was produced inside the restaurant. Several Lake Elsinore Police investigators and NASA agents moved in on the suspect, took possession of the moon rock and detained the female.
NASA agents took possession of the moon rock and interviewed the female suspect. At this time the investigation is ongoing.
The Office of Investigations is responsible for conducting investigations on allegations of crime, cyber-crime, fraud, waste, abuse, and misconduct having impact on NASA programs, projects, operations, and resources. OI refers its findings either to the Department of Justice for prosecution or to NASA management for action. Through its investigations, OI identifies crime indicators and recommends effective measures for NASA management that are designed to reduce NASA's vulnerability to criminal activity. The Office of Investigations is comprised of Headquarters and four geographic Field Offices including a Computer Crimes Division. See link to Field Offices for investigative and geographical areas of responsibility.
The Outer Space Treaty, formally known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies......
The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet...
Key points of the Treaty
The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars States Parties to the Treaty from placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in orbit of Earth, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or to otherwise station them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Art.IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit. The treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries and shall be free for exploration and use by all States.
The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet, since they are the Common heritage of mankind. Art. II of the Treaty states that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means".
However, the State that launches a space object retains jurisdiction and control over that object. The state is also liable for damages caused by their space object and must avoid contaminating space and celestial bodies.
Originally posted by Pervius
The United States is party to a Treaty that states no object in space can be claimed by any Government. It went into effect in 1967.
Those Rocks can't be claimed as Property of the United States Government.
She's going to win in Court.
A treasured piece at the Dutch national museum - a supposed moon rock from the first manned lunar landing - is nothing more than petrified wood, curators say.
Originally posted by daviddee
I still question if we did or did not even go to the moon. People that is, we may......and I say may....as in maybe have sent a unman ship there to collect dust and a rock, but people? I still don't think we did.
And so what if she took a rock ? I have lots of rocks in my back yard, and no one is yelling at me.
People have put vaule on things that mean nothing in the light of it all.
A rock from the moon ? $1.7 million? and how is this going to feed me ?
Originally posted by Helious
An undercover NASA agent? NASA is a civilian run operation, while still under government control. Who gives them authority to have undercover agents and perform "stings"?