Woman sues NASA over vial of moon dust given to her by Neil Arms - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Woman sues NASA over vial of moon dust given to her by Neil Armstrong

Posted: Updated: Jun 13, 2018 3:33 AM
Laura Murray Cicco claims she owns a vial of moon dust given to her by Neil Armstrong. She is suing NASA to ensure her ownership of the artifact. Laura Murray Cicco claims she owns a vial of moon dust given to her by Neil Armstrong. She is suing NASA to ensure her ownership of the artifact.
Laura Murray Cicco claims she owns a vial of moon dust given to her by Neil Armstrong along with a note. She is suing NASA to ensure her ownership of the artifact. Laura Murray Cicco claims she owns a vial of moon dust given to her by Neil Armstrong along with a note. She is suing NASA to ensure her ownership of the artifact.
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CINCINNATI - A former Cincinnati resident preemptively sued NASA in federal court this month to keep an alleged vial of moon dust given to her by Neil Armstrong.

The lawsuit filed June 6 is asking the U.S. District Court in Kansas to decide who owns the dust. NASA says private citizen can't own lunar material, but Laura Murray Cicco disagrees.

The Manchester, Tennessee resident has a small vial, about the size of a lipstick, filled with gray dust along with a note that says "To Laura Ann Murray - Best of luck - Neal Armstrong Apollo 11."

Cicco said she got the vial when she was 10, and the note was written on the back of one of her father's business cards.

Court documents state her family lived in Cincinnati during the time the first man on the moon was teaching at the University of Cincinnati. Cicco said her father, Tom Murray, was friends with Armstrong.

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Cicco has had Armstrong signature verified and had the alleged moon dust tested. Tom Tague with the Bruker Corporation analyzed the sample and reported it "may have originated from lunar regolith," according to the lawsuit.

In 2011, NASA conducted a sting against Joann Davis in California. She had a paperweight with lunar material inside she had received as a gift from her husband, and was trying to sell it. The paperweight was seized, and in court, NASA declared "private persons cannot own lunar material."

It's this assumption Cicco is challenging with the lawsuit.

"There is no law against private persons owning lunar material. Lunar material is not contraband," the lawsuit states. "She is the rightful and legal owner."

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