Moon rock on display in Slovenia
Due to cooperation with the US Embassy and NASA, the rock brought to Earth as part of the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon in 1972 can be seen in the Noordung Centre in Vitanje as of this Wednesday. As highlighted by Dominik Kobold, the director of the space centre, this is one of the most precious museum heritage exhibits ever to be put on display in Slovenia.
The rock will be showcased in Vitanje until February. Furthermore, between 2 September and November, visitors will also be able to see a replica of the space suit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong during his historic first walk on the Moon’s surface. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing last year, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum made 15 replicas, and only one of them has been showcased in various European institutions.
According to Kobold, this is not only the promotion of the relevant institution, which for some time has been administered by the Government of the United States, but the promotion of space technologies in general. "Both exhibits are priceless and prove that it is possible to obtain such interesting exhibits with hard work and willpower. Our centre thus maintains its position in the international arena," says Kobold.
As stated by the head of the Noordung Centre, both exhibits are fascinating, and the centre did not wish to pass on such an opportunity since it is impossible to predict when it would present itself again. Kobold believes that they are worth seeing, together with other interesting items from the centre of space technologies.
The solemn opening in Vitanje was attended by Zdravko Počivalšek, the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, and Lynda C. Blanchard, the US Ambassador to Slovenia. As the Minister stated, this was a great step forward in the development of the space centre, further contributing to its reputation. Space technology is also important for Slovenia as many Slovenian companies participate in these programmes. Slovenia became a member of the European Space Agency in 2016, which enabled equal participation for these companies.
Ambassador Blanchard confirmed that the organisation involved in hosting the American exhibits demanded great effort and added that, despite detailed planning at the onset of the pandemic, she did not dare to think that they would succeed. "When travelling to Slovenia, I set myself ambitious goals to reach the stars, but I didn’t imagine in my wildest dreams that I would bring a small piece of the Moon to your country," said the Ambassador at the opening and highlighted that this proves that no goal is unattainable.