How many cockroaches that digested Apollo 11 moon dust ended up in auction

How many cockroaches that digested Apollo 11 moon dust ended up in auction ...

According to a post from RR Auction, a New Hampshire-based company that specialises in space memorabilia, has just put up for auction a somewhat strange but certainly interesting object. A Cockroach-eaten moon dust from Apollo 11 that includes three of the original cockroaches in near excellent condition.

An extraordinary specimen display

"Extraordinary specimen display from an Apollo 11 lunar dust experiment in which German cockroaches (among other lower animals) were fed lunar soil material in order to observe potential pathological effects. "The exhibit included a vial of ground fines from the cockroaches following biological tests, three of the preserved Blattella germanica cockroaches, and a glass slide with a histological sample, among several photographs and souvenirs associated with man''s first moon landing."

The post opened for bids on Thursday and will last until June 23. How did moon dust end up in the stomachs of cockroaches? Let''s take a stroll down history lane with Collect Space.

When NASA scientists could not predict exactly what astronauts, mainly astronauts, and mostlyApollo 11 crewmates, would encounter once there and what they might bring back to Earth.

Although many space biologists were convinced that the moon was without alien life, they could not be certain that it was not populated by germs that might, if returned to Earth, harm all life.

Quarantined for 21 days

The crew, their spacecraft, and everything they returned to our planet were quarantined for 21 days after their return to our planet. NASA even constructed a special facility to isolate the moon men and debris from the outside world called theLunar Receiving Laboratory.

While several animals (including cockroaches) were met with moon rocks and dust to see how they would respond, the astronauts were exposed to a slew of medical examinations. It is estimated that roughly 10% of the 47.5 pounds (22 kg) of the moon rocks recovered by the Apollo 11 mission were used for this purpose.

NASA would also require Marion Brooks, an entomologist from the University of St. Paul, to further investigate the cockroaches that had ingested the moon dust. It should be noted that NASA''s quarantine experiments had shown that astronauts and animals were not affected by their exposure to the moon, but the space agency wanted to ensure there were no other side effects.

Brooks would also discover that exposure to moon dust had no harmful effects and proceed to collect all of NASA''s samples and arrange them in a specimen mount she purchased at her house.

Three years after her death in 2007, the sample display would be sold at auction for $10,000 by the former Regency-Superior Galleries of Beverly Hills, California. Last March, Apollo11 moon dust also went up for auction, indicating that there is much interest in the material.

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