Woman Preemptively Sues NASA to Keep Her Treasure

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Woman Preemptively Sues NASA to Keep Her Treasure

A United States woman sued NASA, for her right to hold on to a vial of moon dust that she received from Neil Armstrong when she was ten.

Laura Murray Cicco says that as a 10-year-old, she got a "glass vial with a rubber stopper full of light grey dust", along with a signed note from the famed Apollo 11 astronaut. What the woman claims comes in contradiction with NASA's rules according to which no private citizen is able to own lunar material. It is not clear why she is bringing the lawsuit now, five years after she told the Kansas City Star that she found it in a wooden chest.

According to the lawsuit, Armstrong was friends with Cicco's father, Tom Murray, back in the 1970s, when the two men were living in Cincinnati.

The moon dust came with a signed note from Armstrong reading "To Laura Ann Murray - Best of luck - Neil Armstrong Apollo 11".

While the young girl kept the note with her, she couldn't keep a track of the vial and had not seen it in decades.

"At this point, it would be hard to rule out lunar origin", writes the scientist in his report, included as an exhibit to the suit.

"What NASA is essentially saying is that lunar material in private hands is stolen property".

NASA has made a habit of hunting down lunar artifacts that have escaped its possession in the past.

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"Since there is a court case involving this, it would be inappropriate for NASA to comment", a company spokesman told Ars. "It is therefore essential that rigorous accountability and security procedures be followed by all persons who have access to lunar materials".

Woman sues NASA over a moon dust gifted to her by Neil Armstrong.

The lawsuit claims that test results have authenticated Ms Cicco's vial, although some experts still have questions. "She is the rightful and legal owner".

The vial has been tested by experts who have mixed reports on whether its contents consist of lunar dust, material from Earth, or a combination of both, according to the Post. In other words, it is a preemptive attempt from her side to prevent NASA officials from repeating such action.

Armstrong used the bag to collect the very first moon rock specimens in 1969, and it still contained trace amounts of lunar dust.

Cicco's lawsuit cited another case where NASA seized lunar mementoes from an elderly California woman which was gifted to her by her late husband and an Apollo programme engineer.

Cicco, who now lives in Tennessee, said she doesn't have the vial in her possession.

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