Space enthusiasts are looking forward to buying a unique sample of moon dust collected by astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, which is being auctioned off. This sample of moon dust is distinguished by the fact that it comes from the famous NASA mission of Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the surface of the moon, and this may not be the only exciting thing about this sample, but it also carries a disgusting secret.
This sample was part of a scientific experiment, in which cockroaches were fed moon dust, along with other creatures, and retrieved from their guts, to monitor the possible pathological effects on them. The New York Post reported that during the first mission to the moon, scientists were concerned that astronauts would encounter harmful substances on the moon’s surface or return pollution to Earth.
Therefore, scientists worked to study the possible negative effects of moon dust. After the crickets ingested and digested small amounts of lunar dust, the three crickets that had devoured the lunar dust were killed and dissected. Scientists removed dust from their stomachs and found no evidence that the sample was poisonous. The remains of the insect’s last meal are now up for auction, along with some of the insects’ carcasses and other memorabilia from the study.
According to Russia Today, RR Auction is selling these distinctive lunar samples as part of an auction called ‘Wonderful Rarities’. The bidding process began on May 26 and will run until June 23, so there is plenty of time for bids. The initial bid was $10,000 (£7,918), and auction experts believe the moon sample will eventually fetch $400,000 (£317,000).
“When we’re representing something from Apollo 11, it’s obviously exciting because it’s the most important mission, but when you get something like crickets that were fed lunar stuff, it just shows how diverse it was,” RR Auction executive vice president Bobby Livingstone told CollectSPACE Apollo program.