A woman called Laura Murray Cicco has recently sued NASA in federal court over a unique vial full of moon dust. The woman claims that the gift was given to her by Neil Armstrong and now, her lawsuit is asking the U.S. District Court in Kansas to make a decision regarding the rightful owner of the vial. What the woman claims comes in contradiction with NASA’s rules according to which no private citizen is able to own lunar material. It seems that Cicco does not agree with this and wants to keep her precious alleged gift for herself.
The small vial that the Manchester, Tennessee resident owns is about the size of a lipstick. It’s full of some unknown grey dust and has a note that says To Laura Ann Murray – Best of luck – Neal Armstrong Apollo 11. According to Cicco, she received the moon dust vial when she was just 10-years old. Armstrong wrote that message for her on the back of one of her father’s business cards. According to court documents, her family indeed lived in Cincinnati when the first man on the moon was a teacher at the University there. The woman says that her father, Tom Murray, was a good friend of Armstrong’s.
A legal battle over a vial of moon dust
Cicco also says that she wouldn’t have made all these efforts if she wasn’t sure about the vial’s authenticity. She says that she got the dust tested and the signature verified, and they are both real. The lawsuit claims that the alleged moon dust may have come from a lunar regolith.
Back in 2011, NASA seized a paperweight with lunar material inside from a woman who had received it as a gift from her husband. She was caught when she was trying to sell it. Since then, NASA doesn’t allow private citizen to own anything moon-related. Cicco claims that she is the rightful owner of the vial and wants to keep it, regardless of NASA’s rules.
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