There is a new “out of the world” decoration in United States President Joe Biden’s Oval Office.
At the request of the new administration, NASA has loaned out a 3.9-billion-year-old moon rock from its Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston.
The space rock went on display in the Oval Office on Inauguration Day, Wednesday. “In symbolic recognition of earlier generations’ ambitions and accomplishments, and support for America’s current Moon to Mars exploration approach, a Moon rock now sits in the Oval Office of the White House,” stated NASA in their website.
The moon rock sits inside a protective case with a plaque attached to it, explaining its history.
“Apollo 17 astronaut Ronald Evans and moonwalkers Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan, the last humans to set foot on the Moon, chipped this sample from a large boulder at the base of the North Massif in the Taurus-Littrow Valley, 3 km (almost 2 miles) from the Lunar Module,” stated the official website.
The moon rock weighs 332 grams a piece and was collected in 1972 and formed during the large impact event on the nearside of the Moon, “the Imbrium Impact Basin, which is 1,145 km or 711.5 miles in diameter.”