Over 500 pieces of moon rocks, meteorites, comet chunks and other space material stolen or missing since 1970
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thursday, December 8 2011, 6:25 PM
WASHINGTON -- Astronauts may have had the 'right stuff' to go to the moon, but when it comes to keeping track of what they brought back, NASA seems to have misplaced some of that stuff.
In a report issued by the agency's Inspector General on Thursday, NASA concedes that more than 500 pieces of moon rocks, meteorites, comet chunks and other space material were stolen or have been missing since 1970. That includes 218 moon samples that were stolen and later returned and about two dozen moon rocks and chunks of lunar soil that were reported lost last year.
NASA, which has loaned more than 26,000 samples, needs to keep better track of what's sent to researchers and museums, the report said. The lack of sufficient controls "increases the risk that these unique resources may be lost," the report concluded.