Press Release

NASA Gives Media, Public Look Inside Apollo Moon Rock Vault

By SpaceRef Editor
June 25, 2009
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NASA Gives Media, Public Look Inside Apollo Moon Rock Vault

NASA will offer reporters an unprecedented chance to conduct interviews with scientists inside the lab that stores moon rocks Apollo astronauts collected during their six missions. The July 2 interview opportunities from the Apollo Lunar Sample Processing Lab and Storage Vaults at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will take place nearly 40 years after humans first walked on the moon.

Using the NASA Television’s Live Interview Media Outlet satellite channel, news organizations will have a chance to talk with scientists who study the lunar samples. The interviews will originate from inside the lunar sample vault, amid the trays of moon rocks and soil samples. Among the samples are those Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin brought back to Earth in July 1969.

Live interview opportunities will be available from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. CDT with lunar sample scientists Gary Lofgren and Andrea Mosie. Lofgren is the lunar curator at Johnson and has been with the lab since the Apollo era. Mosie has been a scientist in the current lab since it opened in 1979.

To participate in the interviews, journalists should contact Victor Scott at 281-483-4942 or no later than noon, July 1.

The public also will have an opportunity to take a virtual tour of the lunar sample lab and ask the scientists questions via Ustream and Twitter from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The public can submit questions to Johnson’s Twitter account, @NASA_Johnson, beginning today and via Ustream live during the event. The tour and the question-and-answer session also will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

To view the live broadcast on Ustream and submit questions, visit:

Between 1969 and 1972, six Apollo spaceflight missions brought back 842 pounds and 22,000 separate samples of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. The majority of the samples are stored at the Apollo Lunar Sample Processing Lab and Storage Vaults at Johnson, with a small subset held at the White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. The samples continue to be studied by scientists around the world. The work has provided invaluable knowledge as NASA prepares to return to the moon.

The NASA Live Interview Media Outlet satellite channel will be used for the event. The channel is a digital satellite C-band downlink by uplink provider Americom. It is on satellite AMC 6, transponder 5C, located at 72 degrees west, downlink frequency 3785.5 Mhz based on a standard C-band 5150 Mhz L.O., vertical polarity, FEC is 3/4, data rate is 6.00 Mhz, symbol rate is 4.3404 Mbaud, transmission DVB, minimum Eb/N0 is 6.0 dB. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit:

For more information about the Apollo lunar samples and lab, visit:

NASA is planning a number of activities and events in 2009 as the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20 approaches. The events will celebrate the Apollo Program, its accomplishments, and the benefits to our lives today. For more information, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.