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Mystery of missing Alaska moon rocks

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Posted: Monday, August 30, 2010 1:31 pm

Elizabeth Riker, a criminal justice graduate student and member of the "Moon Rock Project" at the University of Phoenix, is trying to track down the four tiny pieces of moon rock from the Apollo 11 mission that were presented to Alaska.

The lunar rocks, encased in a lucite ball, appear to have been lost or stolen, she writes in the Capital City Weekly in Juneau.

NASA gave rocks to every state and 135 countries, she said. Riker is part of a college class that is working to track down all of the lunar rocks.


"My professor, a retired NASA Office of Inspector General Senior Special Agent, assigns his students the task of investigating unaccounted-for moon rocks that were given to the states and nations of the world. This assignment is called the "Moon Rock Project." I was assigned the Alaskan Apollo 11 Moon Rock to investigate," she wrote earlier this month.

The Alaska lucite ball was to be displayed by the Chugiak Gem and Mineral Society in early 1971. There is no record beyond that.

"An artifact of this nature represents an important accomplishment of our space program, and I am committed to seeing this investigation through. With help from the good citizens of Alaska, I am confident we will be successful," Riker said.


She can be contacted at


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