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Lunar stone on display at Noordung centre

The Noordung Centre will have the honour to display until the end of 2020 one of the most precious exhibits to ever have arrived in Slovenia – a stone from the surface of the Moon. The item, handed to the institution by the US Embassy in Slovenia and NASA, is to be on display from 17 August until the end of the year.

A stone from the surface of the Moon displayed in the Noordung Centre in Vitanje

A stone from the surface of the Moon displayed in the Noordung Centre in Vitanje | Author STO

This is the first ever display of a priceless piece of the Moon’s surface in Slovenia. The basalt sample was collected by astronaut and geologist Harrison "Jack" Schmitt during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 in the vicinity of the landing site of the lunar module. The 120-gramme piece is part of a larger rock that weighed around eight kilos when it was brought to Earth. It is estimated to be around 3.75 billion years old, which makes it older than 99.99% of all the rocks on Earth. 

The exhibition is made even more attractive by rich and interesting multimedia content, such as the presentation of the Apollo mission and a glance at the future of lunar research with the Artemis programme. Interactive multimedia content lets visitors explore the Moon and discover its most famous craters, seas, valleys and mountains. It also explains the method and purpose of obtaining samples on the Moon and shows where they are kept today, while Apollo 17 astronauts take visitors to the Moon and back via visualisation.

On 29 August, the Noordung Centre at Vitanje will also exhibit a replica of Neil Armstrong’s space suit made at the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing by 3D scanning of the original, which is part of the collection of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.