Woman sues over moon dust

Woman sues over moon dust

A Tennessee woman is suing NASA in Kansas to affirm her ownership of lunar dust she says astronaut Neil Armstrong gifted to her.

Five decades later, Murray has chose to sue NASA for fear that the agency will confiscate her valuable gift and the last Wednesday, following a petition filed in federal court in Kansas, US, the authorities seek to establish property rights to the material, as local media reported. Cicco said her mother assured her that the vial was a sample taken from Armstrong - who was the first person to set foot on the Moon - when he ventured onto the satellite during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

"Laura received this [Moon dust] from Neil Armstrong, so it's hers and we just want to establish this legally", said Chris McHugh, the plaintiff's attorney. The gift of lunar dust was signed by Neil Armstrong with a message that read, "To Laura Ann Murray - Best of luck". Her mother handed it down to Cicco when she was 10 years old. At that time Armstrong used to teach at the Department of Aerospace Engineering of the State University. However, the US space agency has long back stated that every moon particle is the property of the United States government.

Is it Moon dust in Murray's jar or not?
However, an "X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy" test found out that the specimen's chemical composition was different from that of the actual moon dust.

A woman from Tennessee filed a preemptive lawsuit in Kansas against NASA to keep an extraordinary gift. "I am speculating, but it may be possible that some dust from the earth became mingled with this likely lunar sample", Tom Tague, a chemist from the Bruker Corporation, wrote to Christopher McHugh, the lawyer representing Cicco.

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