In a neat contrast with the Polish farmer who is doing well out of selling a meteorite which landed on their farm, a woman in America has been detained for allegedly attempting to sell another space rock: a chunk of lunar material.
Or at least that was what she claimed. Experts are just beginning to do tests on the rock which she reportedly offered for sale in a restaurant near Los Angeles.
She could be in trouble either way: there might be a case for fraud if it is not genuine, whilst the selling of moon rock brought back from the Apollo missions is prohibited in the US - though it does happen on the black market.
Of course some items have been sold at auction which have moon dust on them, but the only way to get hold of pieces of the moon legitimately is in the form of lunar meteorites. Of course they aren't cheap, but then the supposed lunar rock's intended seller was apparently asking for $1.7m.
Unfortunately for the arrested woman, the prospective buyer was an undercover NASA agent.
We'll have to wait to see the results of the tests. A number of space rocks have gone missing over the years, mostly those gifted to countries around the world as goodwill gestures by President Nixon.
Conversely, a moon rock gifted to a Dutch museum later turned out to be petrified wood - and hence unlikely to have come from the moon.
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