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Science & Environment

A Dust-Up Over Moon Dust

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A woman in Tennessee named Laura Murray is suing NASA to be sure she can keep a small vial of dust she believes is from the moon. She says that vial was given to her family by Neil Armstrong, who was a friend of her father. And it came with a note for 10-year-old daughter - to Laura Ann Murray, best of luck - Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11. NASA says all lunar material belongs to the U.S. government and has had undercover operations to prevent people from selling moon rocks. Laura Murray, now Laura Murray Cicco, says she can't even get a university lab to test the soil in her vial because they worry about being prosecuted. She says although her vial of dust could be worth millions one day, that's not why she wants to hold on to it. It means more for my memory of my father, she told the BBC. When I was a little girl, your father is your superhero.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.