“War spoils” are considered a source of encouragement for brave soldiers, and “astronaut” Nancy Lee Carlson deserves something better than the small bag of moon dust in her custody.
Carlson didn’t steal the priced item from aliens. in fact, she never left this earth for a moment in her life.
Surprised? You don’t have to be all over the moon to acquire moon dust — if NASA approves.
She’s a lawyer and collector in Chicago whose love for space memorabilia led her into buying a small white bag marked “Lunar Sample Return.”
Carlson knew what she paid for — a bag with moon dust sprinkled over it, so spending $995 for the item was the greatest decision she’s ever made at the auctions.
According to a report from The Huffington Post, this lucky collector will have her prized possession sold at Sothebys’ upcoming auction in July. And it’s worth a whooping $4 million.
The report confirms Carlson sent her rare item to NASA for testing, after purchasing it two years ago. But regrettably, the government agency seized it for lawful reasons; no one has the right to own anything from the moon.
She was told that her memento belonged to NASA, meaning she has no rights to keep possession of the memento.
It was only a dust from the moon, someone might say, but the “rightful” owner didn’t back down. She got it released after a long court battle.
The auction event will coincide with the 48th anniversary of humankind’s first landing on the moon.
Cassandra Hatton, vice president and senior specialist in charge of the space exploration sale at Sotheby’s, described the bag as something of great historical significance.
In Hatton’s opinion, such an item which was used to collect one of the first ever lunar samples should be protected.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong collected the sample off the moon surface; he filled the bag with rocks from the lunar Sea of Tranquility during his historic trip to the moon on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.
Media reports confirm he sent the bag to a lab in Houston which emptied its original contents before losing the $4m bag.
Carlson cashed in on her moon dust after it surfaced at U.S. Marshals auction website.
“This seemingly modest bag played a crucial role in the most important scientific task of the Apollo 11 mission — to bring back the first sample of lunar material ever collected.
“To be able to see such an object in person is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Cassandra Hatton.
“It is one thing to read about going to the moon; it is quite another to hold in one’s hands an object that was actually there and still carries traces of that faraway place.”
You could be the next owner of a bagful of moon dust.