Many of the lunar rocks given away following the Apollo 11 and 17 missions have gone unaccounted for and periodically turn up in weird places.
When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins came back to Earth on July 24, 1969, they brought 22 kilograms of lunar rocks home. President Nixon gave out many of those rocks as gifts, including a little desktop display and plaque that went to each state. Over the years, some of those rocks were lost, and now, five of them have been found -- in a storage area belonging to the Minnesota National Guard.
Moon rocks from mankind's first landing more than 43 years ago have been discovered tucked away in a government storage area in St. Paul, and officials are at a loss to explain how they ended up there.
The five encased rocks -- little more than pebbles -- are part of a desktop display that includes a small state of Minnesota flag that was among the 50 from every state that made the trip aboard Apollo 11.
Each state received a moon rock display from President Richard Nixon to commemorate the mission that put Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.
"The Apollo 11 moon rocks were found amongst military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul," said Army Maj. Blane R. Iffert, former state historian for the Minnesota National Guard. "When I searched the Internet to find additional information about the moon rocks, I knew we had to find a better means to display this artifact."