Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant an American flag on the moon in July 1969.
Laura Cicco receive a vial of moon dust from the famous Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong nearly 50 years ago.
Now, the Tennessee woman is suing NASA as a preventive move, to ensure that the space agency can’t take the gift away from her.
Cicco says that they received the out-of-this-world gift when she was just 10 years old, but had not seen the bottle for decades until it showed she rummaged in her deceased parents’ belongings ‘ about five years ago, the Washington Post reported.
Neil Armstrong gave her a bottle of moon dust, ” she says. She complains, so the NASA does not. https://t.co/dQFLpujmUQ
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 13, 2018
“I came to walk where my husband was and I said,” This is the vial of moon dust. I got it,'” Cicco told the newspaper. “In that time, we didn’t really know what to do.”
Cicco said the dragonfly was a gift from Armstrong, a friend of her father, Tom Murray, former professor at the University of Cincinnati.
Armstrong, who died in 2012 at the age of 82, even with a personal note, which reads: “To Laura Ann Murray – the Best of Luck, Neil Armstrong Apollo 11.”
Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died in 2012 at age 82.
The handwritten note is what Cicco’s lawyer, Christopher McHugh, told the Post will be essential in proving the rightful owner of the moon dust.
Cicco called the authority, who seized other lunar material from their own citizens in the past, in an attempt to get ahead of the curve, the paper reported.
The bottle has been tested by experts who are mixed messages about whether the content consists of lunar dust, the material of the Earth, or a combination of both, according to the Post.
Although McHugh told the newspaper there is no law preventing private citizens from owning a lunar souvenir, Joseph Gutheinz, a former senior special agent for NASA’s inspector general argued that something of the moon still belongs to the government.
“Neil Armstrong would not have had the power to give the moonstone way,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
In 2012, a law stipulates that the astronauts have control of all of the items they bring back from space, with the exception of lunar material, the newspaper.
Benjamin Brown is a reporter from Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.