Where to Find Colorado's Moon Rocks

August 26 2010, 10:02 AM

John D. Vanderhoof, governor of Colorado from 1973 to 1975, didn't know what to do with the tiny moon rocks in his possession. The Apollo 17 "Goodwill" moon rocks were given to the state by the Nixon administration, part of a global program that dispersed the rocks around the world. When Vanderhoof left office, he attempted to give the rocks to a museum, but none would take them. Now, those rocks finally have a new home at the Colorado School of Mines. The bits of lunar soil encased in a sphere on a plaque, worth about $5 million on the black market, were on display Wednesday in a ceremony at the School of Mines' Geology Museum, writes The Denver Post. Mines president Bill Scoggins considers the rocks an inspiration, and they remind him of the technologies that began as a result of the space program, such as medical-image processing and robotic surgery. "The space program got people to open their eyes and dream a little bit," he says. There is another set of Apollo moon rocks in Colorado, which are being kept safely at the state Capitol.