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Where today are the Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon Rocks?

Prior to the end of their third and final moonwalk, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt paused to make a special dedication:
Eugene Cernan: Houston, before we close out our [moonwalk], we understand that there are young people in Houston today who have been effectively touring our country, young people from countries all over the world, respectively, touring our country. They had the opportunity to watch the launch of Apollo 17; hopefully had an opportunity to meet some of our young people in our country. And we'd like to say first of all, welcome, we hope you enjoyed your stay.

Second of all, I think probably one of the most significant things we can think about when we think about Apollo is that it has opened for us -- "for us" being the world -- a challenge of the future. The door is now cracked, but the promise of the future lies in the young people, not just in America, but the young people all over the world learning to live and learning to work together. In order to remind all the people of the world in so many countries throughout the world that this is what we all are striving for in the future, Jack has picked up a very significant rock, typical of what we have here in the valley of Taurus-Littrow.

It's a rock composed of many fragments, of many sizes, and many shapes, probably from all parts of the Moon, perhaps billions of years old. But fragments of all sizes and shapes -- and even colors -- that have grown together to become a cohesive rock, outlasting the nature of space, sort of living together in a very coherent, very peaceful manner. When we return this rock or some of the others like it to Houston, we'd like to share a piece of this rock with so many of the countries throughout the world. We hope that this will be a symbol of what our feelings are, what the feelings of the Apollo Program are, and a symbol of mankind: that we can live in peace and harmony in the future.

Harrison Schmitt: A portion of [this] rock will be sent to a representative agency or museum in each of the countries represented by the young people in Houston today, and we hope that they -- that rock and the students themselves -- will carry with them our good wishes, not only for the new year coming up but also for themselves, their countries, and all mankind in the future.
Three months after Apollo 17 returned home in December 1972, then-U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered the distribution of fragments from the rock that Cernan and Schmitt collected, since labeled sample 70017, to 135 foreign heads of state, the 50 U.S. states and its provinces. Each rock, encased in an acrylic button, was mounted to a plaque with intended recepient's flag, also flown to the Moon.

A letter, signed by President Nixon, accompanied the samples that were transferred to foreign heads of state. Dated March 21, 1973, it read as follows (as reproduced from the National Archives):
The Apollo lunar landing program conducted by the United States has been brought to a successful conclusion. Men from the planet Earth have reached the first milestone in space. But as we stretch for the stars, we know that we stand also upon the shoulders of many men of many nations here on our own planet. In the deepest sense our exploration of the moon was truly an international effort.

It is for this reason that, on behalf of the people of the United States I present this flag, which was carried to the moon, to the State, and its fragment of the moon obtained during the final lunar mission of the Apollo program.

If people of many nations can act together to achieve the dreams of humanity in space, then surely we can act together to accomplish humanity's dream of peace here on earth. It was in this spirit that the Untied States of America went to the moon, and it is in this spirit that we look forward to sharing what we have done and what we have learned with all mankind.
Distribution of the Goodwill rock

Once gifted, each of the goodwill moon rock samples became the property of the recepient entity and therefore was no longer subject to being tracked by NASA. All other lunar samples' locations are well documented by the U.S. space agency to this day (with exception to similarly gifted Apollo 11 lunar sample displays).

As property of the nation or state, the goodwill rocks are now subject to the laws for public gifts as set by that country. In most cases, as in the United States, public gifts cannot be legally transferred to individual ownership without the passage of additional legislation.

Since 2002, collectSPACE has attempted to locate the current whereabouts of all the goodwill moon rocks. The following chart details those efforts.

Special gratitude is extended to former NASA Office of Inspector General special agent Joseph Gutheinz, who today as a professor at the University of Phoenix, Arizona, has challenged his students to locate the goodwill moon rocks.

Do you know the current status of a fragment of Sample 70017? Write us at moonrocks@collectspace.com

No.   Nation / State   Location / Status  
Photo
  Located By
291   China      
294   Afghanistan      
295   Argentina      
296   Australia   National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in storage  
  M. Dinn
K. Dougherty

Photo: T. Rodwell
297   Austria   Meteorite Hall, Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna  
  H. Raab
298   Bahamas   Government House, Nassau  
  L. Wong
299   Bahrain   Bahrain National Museum, Manama (unconfirmed)     B. Scribbins
300   Barbados   Barbados Museum & Historical Society     T. Sterling/
Associated Press
301   Belgium   Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Brussels  
  T. Sterling/
Associated Press
302   Bolivia   Planetario Max Schreier, Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz  
  G. Pereira
303   Brazil   Museu dom Diogo de Souza, Bagé (in September 2002, the museum briefly considered offering the moon rock for sale)     C. Grossmann
304   Canada   Canada Science and Technology Museum, on loan from the Canadian Museum of Nature (reference)  
  K. Glover
M. Picard
I. Danforth
305   Chad      
306   Taiwan      
307   Colombia   El Planetario de Bogotá, Bogota     J. Russo
308   Costa Rica   Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose (in storage)     T. Sterling/
Associated Press
309   Dahomey      
310   Denmark   Geological Museum, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen     J. Kieffer-Olsen
311   Dominican Republic   Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santo Domingo  
  E. Garcia
312   Ecuador      
313   Egypt   Egyptian Geological Museum, Cairo     T. Sterling/
Associated Press
314   Congo Republic      
315   El Salvador   Museo Nacional de Antropologia (MUNA), Zona Rosa (reference)  
  C. Tamacas
316   Finland   Mineralogical Museum of the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Otaniemi, Espoo  
  K. Kinnunen
317   Gabon      
318   W. Germany   Deutsches Museum, Munich  
  H. Raab
319   Solomon Islands   Soloman Islands National Museum  
  G. Arndt
320   Guatemala      
321   Guyana   National Museum of Guyana, Georgetown     D. Clay-Jordan
322   Haiti      
323   Honduras   Acquired illegally and then smuggled into the U.S. in 1995; offered for sale for $5 million to undercover NASA agent and confiscated in 1998; returned to Honduras and now displayed at Centro Interactivo de Enseñanza Chiminike in Tegucigalpa  
  J. Gutheinz
324   Iceland   Náttúrufræðisafn Íslands (Museum of Natural History), Reykjavik     Z. Tripodes
325   India   Parliament Museum, New Delhi     D. Dasgupta/
Outlook
326   Indonesia      
327   Iran      
328   Ireland   National Museum of Ireland, Museum of Natural History, Dublin  
ireland01
  J. Gutheinz
329   Israel      
330   Italy   Museo Nazionale Della Scienza E Della Tecnologia "Leonardo da Vinci", Milan  
  T. Sterling/
Associated Press
331   Ivory Coast      
332   Jamaica      
333   Japan   National Museum, Tokyo  
  T. Sterling/
Associated Press
334   Jordan      
335   Khmer      
336   Korea   National Science Museum, Daejeon  
  Seo Sanghyeon
337   Lebanon      
338   Liberia      
339   Luxembourg      
340   Malta   Reported stolen 5/2004; National Museum of Natural History, Mdina  
 
341   Mexico   Universum, Museo de las Ciencias, Mexico City     R. Zúñiga
342   Netherlands   National Museum of the History of Science and Medicine in Leiden  
  E. Laan
343   New Zealand   Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington  
 
344   Nicaragua      
345   Niger      
346   Nigeria      
347   Norway   Geological Museum, Natural History Museum, Oslo  
  T. Sterling/
Associated Press
K. Persen
348   Pakistan   In the reserve collection at the National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi  
  M. Constantine
349   Panama      
350   Paraguay   Instituto de Historia y Museo Militar, Asunción  
  J. Russo
351   Peru      
352   Philippines      
353   Portugal      
354   Qatar      
355   Saudi Arabia      
356   South Africa   Transvaal Museum, Pretoria     L. McMullen
357   Spain   Museo Naval, Madrid since 2007; previously in a private collection  
  P. Jauregui
C. Keller
358   Swaziland      
359   Switzerland   Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne  
  A. Teche
360   Tanzania      
361   Thailand      
362   Togo      
363   Tunisia      
364   Turkey   Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) Natural History Museum, Ankara  
  A. Link
365   United Kingdom   Science Museum, London (in temporary storage as renovations are completed)  
  D. Gethings
366   Uruguay   Previously on display at the Aeronautical Museum in Montevideo; moved in 2011 to the Captain Boiso Lanza Air Base for safe keeping.  
  C. Alustiza
367   Venezuela      
368   VietNam      
369   Zambia      
370   Algeria      
371   Bhutan      
372   Botswana      
373   Bulgaria   National Museum of Natural History, Sofia  
  B. Marinov
374   Burma      
375   Cameroon      
376   Central African Republic      
377   Mozambique      
378   Cyprus   Never presented as a result of government coup; retained by U.S. Embassy in Cyprus; reported in 2003 by son of U.S. diplomat as in his custody. In May 2010, recovered by NASA Office of Inspector General.  
 
379   Czechoslovakia      
380   Equatorial Guinea      
381   Ethiopia      
382   Fiji      
383   France   Palais de la Découverte, Paris  
  T. Sterling/
Associated Press
384   Gambia      
385   Ghana      
386   Guinea Republic      
387   Hungary      
388   Kenya      
389   Kuwait      
390   Laos   "Haw Kham" Royal Palace Museum, Luang Prabang     T. Brattstrom
391   Lesotho      
392   Libya      
393   Madagascar      
394   Malawi      
395   Malaysia      
396   Maldives      
397   Mali      
398   Mauritania      
399   Mauritius      
400   Morocco      
401   Nepal   National Museum of Nepal, Kathmandu     T. Sterling/
Associated Press
402   Oman      
403   Poland   Olsztyńskie Planetarium i Obserwatorium Astronomiczne, Olsztyn     T. Sterling/
M. Scislowska/
Associated Press
404   Romania   Reported among auctioned possessions of dictator Ceausescu    
405   Rwanda   Kandt House Museum of Natural History, Kigali  
  C. Evans
406   Senegal      
407   Sierra Leone      
408   Singapore   Singapore Science Centre     C. Baaijens
409   Somali      
410   Sri Lanka   Colombo National Museum, Colombo (in storage)  
  K. Ratnatunga
411   Sudan      
412   Trinidad and Tobago      
413   USSR      
414   United Arab Emirates   Al Ain National Museum    
415   Upper Volta      
416   Yemen      
417   Yugoslavia   Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrad, Serbia  
  J. Igor
418   Zaire      
420   Bangladesh      
421   Liechtenstein      
422   Monaco      
423   Nauru      
424   San Marino      
425   Tonga      
426   Vatican   Headquarters of the Vatican Observatory, Papal Gardens, Castel Gandolfo  
  G. Consolmagno
I. Danforth
Mgr. P. Wells
K. Horn
427   West Samoa      
428   Chile   Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santiago  
  C. Gómez
429   Sweden   National Museum of Science and Technology, Stockholm  
  T. Johnson
P. Holmgren
       
239   Alabama   Held in storage by the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery  
  J. Malovets
240   Alaska   Alaska State Museum, Juneau  
  J. Brooks
241   Arizona   Held in the collection of the University of Arizona Mineral Museum, Tucson  
  J. Malovets
242   Arkansas   Rediscovered in Sept. 2011 by an archivist at the Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock among former President Bill Clinton's gubernatorial papers. Now found, the moon rock will go on display at the Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, when it reopens in January 2012.  
  M. Hodges
S. Wire
243   California   San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego (in storage as a result of damage to its plaque in 1978 museum fire)  
  J. Gutheinz
244   Colorado   Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, Golden

Discovered in June 2010 in the possession of former governor John Vanderhoof, who was in office when it was presented to the state.
 
  R. Griffis

KMGH-TV
245   Connecticut   Museum of Connecticut History, State Library, Hartford  
  Y. Yeomans
246   Delaware   In a climate-controlled storeroom as part of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs' collection  
  L. Marianiello
P. George/DFM News
247   Florida   Museum of Florida History, Tallahassee (in storage)  
  R. Griffis
K. Friedman
248   Georgia   Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta  
  M. Jetzer
249   Hawaii   Rediscovered after a routine gift inventory inside a cabinet in the Executive Chambers on the fifth floor of the Hawai'i State Capitol, Honolulu  
  J. Gutheinz
W. Hoover/ Honolulu Advertiser
250   Idaho   Idaho State Historical Society, Boise  
  J. Newton
251   Illinois   Illinois State Museum, Springfield  
  L. Moore
252   Indiana   Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis (in storage)  
  J. McGauley
253   Iowa   State Historical Museum, Des Moines  
  J. Sahagun
254   Kansas      
255   Kentucky   Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort (in storage)     B. Officer
256   Louisiana      
257   Maine   Maine State Museum, Augusta  
  K. Larkin
258   Maryland   State Archives, Annapolis  
  J. Betancourt-Castano
259   Massachusetts   Museum of Science, Boston  
  J. Gutheinz
C. Kirdahy
260   Michigan      
261   Minnesota   Minnesota Historical Society, MN150 exhibit, St. Paul  
  J. Milella

Photo: Minnesota Historical Society
262   Mississippi   Department of Archives and History, Jackson (in storage)     I. Washington
263   Missouri   Discovered in Dec. 2010 among Senator Kit Bond's Washington, D.C. archives and subsequently presented to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Now in the custody of the Missouri State Museum, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City
 
 
264   Montana   Montana Historical Society, Helena  
  A. Egbeyemi
265   Nebraska   Lost in the governor's mansion for a number of years. Found by Diane Nelson, former Gov. Ben Nelson's wife, while the mansion was undergoing renovations.

Now on public display at the Ralph Mueller Planetarium at the University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln.
 
  J. Dunn
266   Nevada   Nevada State Museum, Carson City. On temporary public display through Aug. 11, 2013, then will be returned to storage.  
  E. Schwartz
267   New Hampshire   McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord  
  S. Ubele
268   New Jersey      
269   New Mexico   Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell  
  F. French
270   New York   New York State Museum, Albany (in storage, plaque and acrylic-encased moon rock held separately)  
  L. Moore
271   North Carolina   In storage at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. Set to go on display in Fall 2011 with the opening of the Nature Research Center.

Earlier: Held in a desk drawer at the Department of Commerce and then from 2003 to 2010 in the custody of State University professor Christopher Brown.
 
  C. Tacker

Photo: NCSU
272   North Dakota   State Historical Society, Bismarck (in storage)  
  P. Depweg
R. Dates

S. Silengo and
M. Halvorson/
Historical Society

273   Ohio      
274   Oklahoma   Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City  
  R. Niang-Casey
275   Oregon   Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, permanent exhibit in the Earth Science Hall  
  L. Erickson
276   Pennsylvania   Planetarium, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg     M. Wilkins
277   Rhode Island   State Archives (in storage), Providence  
  T. Evans
R.G. Stearn
278   South Carolina      
279   South Dakota   W.H. Over Museum, Vermillion     D. Brosz
280   Tennessee   Pink Palace Museum Sharpe Planetarium, Memphis  
  D. Cesarino
281   Texas   The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Austin  
  K. Aurisch
282   Utah   Utah Museum of Natural History, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City  
  D.M. King
283   Vermont   in the collection of the Vermont Historical Society, Barre  
  M. Guice
284   Virginia   Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond  
  N. Shull
285   Washington   Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma  
  T. Lee
286   West Virginia   Located in June 2010 in the possession of retired dentist Robert Conner of Morgantown, who received it a decade ago with his late brother Troy's estate. Though the details of how it passed hands are not exactly clear, former Governor Arch A. Moore Jr., who took receipt of the moon rock while in office, was also affiliated with Troy's law firm. Moore told the Associated Press he may have given it to Troy "to observe."

Now in the care of the Governor.
 
  S. Shelton
287   Wisconsin      
288   Wyoming   Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne     Y. Molina
289   Puerto Rico      

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