Between 1969 and 1972, Apollo astronauts brought back to Earth a total of nine containers of moon material that were sealed on the lunar surface. Two of the larger sealed samples were collected by Apollo 17 moonwalkers in December 1972. Three sealed samples from Apollo 15, 16 and 17 remain unopened. According to several key lunar researchers, now is the right time to consider opening at least one of the still-sealed sample containers. Protected, preserved and processed Home for the Apollo geological samples — specimens that are physically protected, environmentally preserved and scientifically processed — is the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility, a special building at NASA 's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. The Apollo collection consists of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. Thanks to the six Apollo landing expeditions, 2,200 separate samples made it back to Earth, snagged from six different exploration sites on the moon. Returned lunar samples have shown that they are the gifts that keep on giving. For instance, water from the moon's interior was detected recently by sensitive mass spectrometric analysis of basaltic glasses brought back to Earth by the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 missions. Read More: Space.com
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