Science Museum unveils Moon rock

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Science history

Science lovers staying in London hotels may be tempted to visit the Science Museum to get a look at a real Moon rock.

  • The new display marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 15 lunar mission when the Moon rocks were collected.
  • Originally collected by astronaut David Scott from the Moon’s surface in August 1971, the rock has now gone on permanent display.
  • The Moon rock was cut from the larger “Great Scott” rock and is made of olivine basalt and was part of an ancient lava flow.
  • Like all Moon rocks returned to Earth, it is kept in a nitrogen-filled glass container to prevent it coming into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere.

moon surface

  • Doug Millard, senior curator of space technologies, commented: “Pieces of Moon rock such as this one have provided scientists with valuable information about the history and formation of the Moon.”
  • For example, Moon rocks allowed scientists to discover that Earth’s satellite is around 4.5 billion years old, according to Mr Millard.

He continued: “And [the Moon] is likely to have been formed from the debris thrown into orbit when a planet-sized body slammed into the young Earth.”

  • The Apollo Moon landing missions, which took place between 1969 and 1972, brought almost 400kg of lunar samples back to Earth.
  • Visitors to the capital’s Science Museum can also enjoy the venue’s other exhibits, such as Cosmos & Culture: How Astronomy has Shaped our World.
  • The exhibit looks at how our view of the universe has changed throughout history with rare artefacts representing each step of the journey.
  • Music lovers may be interested in the Oramics to Electronics: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music exhibit.

The museum is open from 10:00 GMT to 18:00 GMT every day and features an Imax 3D cinema showing a variety of educational films, such as Deep Sea, Born to be Wild, Hubble and Space Station.