Outer space has long been a fascination of mankind, even more so since July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Earth’s Moon as a part of the Apollo 11 Space Mission, which decisively ended the Cold War era Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States. Armstrong’s bag from that journey, expected to contain priceless moon particulate matter was once held in at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum before it was stolen by an unsavory curator after which it was accidentally auctioned off by NASA which was given custody. After years of fighting over who the bag belonged to federal courts in Texas have decided that NASA must surrender the bag to the person who bought it from them due to their administrative mistake. Although they will honor the decision the Agency has made it abundantly clear that they disagree with the decision and that they wish for the item to be displayed at its former home at the Smithsonian.

The winner of the lawsuit, Ms. Nancy Carlson, now plans on selling the bag and its lunar contents through Sotheby’s Auctions and donate a portion of what she gains through the auction to a charity involving children’s health. There is no word yet how much lunar particulate matter (more commonly called moon rocks) is in the bag by weight, although it is expected to fetch four million dollars, although what is paid could reach much higher. NASA might want to start a GoFundMe page if they want to purchase the bag back now. The item will go up for sale on the 48th anniversary of Armstrong’s moon landing although potential bidders may be able to see the bag a week earlier than that at a showing at a virtual reality conference.

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