Now a speck of Moon dust - ‘the size of a fingertip’ - has been returned to the Johnson Space Center before almost going on auction this week in St. Louis. This speck was from Moon dust brought back by Apollo 11, but not on purpose. The dust came from inside a camera case, and it was lifted on sticky tape. The tape, cut into smaller pieces for sale, resurfaced in 2001. Some considered it a hoax, but preliminary tests indicate it’s the real thing.
The Moon dust speck, which was probably going to go for $1000 to $1500, was in the possession of a widow who received it from her late husband. She willingly gave the dust back. A woman was busted in California last month for trying to sell a Moon rock valued at $1.7 million. The transaction was going down in a Dennys.
There are other Moon rocks and Moon dust out there in private hands, given as gifts to dignitaries and politicians in the late 60s and early 70s, but most end up back in a museum.