Thief gets sample of moon rock

Jan. 16, 2006 at 5:08 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A thief who broke into a car in Virginia Beach, Va., made off with the world's most valuable rocks, ones with extraterrestrial origins.

The car belonged to a National Aeronautics and Space Administration instructor who had the samples of lunar and meteorite rock for teaching purposes, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported. While the rocks may not look like much, they are worth about 10 times as much as the equivalent quantity of high-quality diamonds.

The samples were in a silver-colored metal briefcase and were sealed in plastic discs labeled "meteorite sample" and "lunar sample," a police spokeswoman said.

None of the samples of rock retrieved from the moon by the flights there has ever been sold or given away.

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