Arts, Culture & Media

Whatever Happened to all of the Moon Rocks?

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Map of Apollo Moon landing sites (Photo: NASA)

Remember back when President Richard Nixon came up with the idea of giving moon rocks to all of the countries of the world?

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The moon rocks came from NASA's Apollo moon missions.

The gift rocks symbolized "the unity of human endeavor" and carried a message of "hope of the American people for a world at peace."

Problem is many have gone missing. One eastern Mediterranean island nation is a case in point. It was reeling from war back in the 70's and in the chaos the moon rocks went missing.

Four decades later, American law professor Joe Gutheinz is on the case, "each semester that I teach the moon rock project, I ask my students to pick one moon rock and assign them the task to hunt down the moon rock down wherever it might be in the world."

Gutheinz has helped to turn up the moon rock that was once destined for this eastern Mediterranean island nation, a country that's divided among Greeks and Turks.

Can you name it?

Here's a photo of the moon rock and plaque in question:

Some of the lunar samples that astronauts brought back from Apollo moon missions in the late 1960's and 70's came to be known as moon rocks.

President Richard Nixon famously gave 270 moon rocks to foreign countries as gifts, as symbols of peace.

But moon rock gifts intended for the nation of Cyprus went missing for decades.

Cyprus is the answer to our quiz.

Joseph Gutheinz teaches at the University of Phoenix. If you need to find a missing moon rock, he's your guy. Together with his students, he's been investigating the estimated 158 missing moon rocks that were gifted to foreign countries. Recently he's been investigating the case of the moon rocks gifted to Cyprus.