Joe Biden Has an Actual Moon Rock in the Oval Office

First conceived during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, the Apollo Moon program got a real boost from another of America’s great presidents, John F. Kennedy. It was his "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the decade line that will forever be linked to what is, to this day, the single most ambitious exploration program the world has ever known.
Moon rock in Joe Biden's Oval Office 1 photo
The Moon landings, spectacular as they were in themselves, were just a means to an end. Humans went there to explore, not hop around like underweight rabbits, and explore they did. And they even brought back pieces of the Earth satellite, for study and whatever.

It is estimated that around 22 kg (48.5 pounds) of lunar samples have been shipped to our planet by the Apollo astronauts, including 50 rocks. The one you see here comes from the very last Apollo mission to have reached the Moon and was a big hit in the Oval Office on January 20, when the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, was sworn in.

According to NASA, which on Thursday officially explained the presence of a strange transparent case with a rock inside it in the Oval Office, the lunar sample is on loan at the request of the Biden administration, and comes from the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The rock has the following inscription on the support of the casing, explaining all there is to know about it:

“Lunar Sample 76015,143

Apollo 17 astronaut Ronald Evans and moonwalkers Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan, the last humans to set foot on the Moon, chipped this sample from a large boulder at the base of the North Massif in the Taurus-Littrow Valley, 3 km (almost 2 miles) from the Lunar Module. This 332 gram piece of the Moon (less than a pound), which was collected in 1972, is a 3.9-billion-year-old sample formed during the last large impact event on the nearside of the Moon, the Imbrium Impact Basin, which is 1,145 km or 711.5 miles in diameter.”

It is up to Joe Biden to continue America’s next ambitious space exploration program, Artemis, which kicked off under Donald Trump. All the major first steps of Artemis, from the first dry run to the actual landing on the Moon, will take place within the next four years.

press release

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