Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise has been given an award by NASA containing a fragment of the heavenly body he was prevented from setting foot on: the Moon.
"Today, we're honouring a true space pioneer," said Gene Goldman, Director of Stennis Space Center. "He's a living example of what you can do in life if you dream big and dare to try amazing things."
The Apollo 13 story is the most compelling of all the missions alongside, of course Apollo 11 (see our Apollo 11 and other memorabilia for sale). After a routine procedure went wrong, causing an explosion, a great deal of quick thinking and luck was required to get them home.
The moon rock is about the size of a grape. If it was released on the open market, it would be of value both as moon rock in its own right (Bonhams sold a piece of moon rock weighing half a gram for $427 at its auction earlier this month) and as Apollo 13 memorabilia.
Haise, however has donated it. Not to a museum as is customary, but to his old school: Gorenflo Elementary School in east Biloxi, Mississippi.
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