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Purdue University to display moon rock

Sept. 19, 2007 at 12:51 PM   |   Comments

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Purdue University will soon be the home of a moon rock, thanks to the widow of U.S. astronaut and Purdue alumnus Roger Chaffee.

The sample, on long-term loan from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, will be presented to the university during halftime of the Purdue-Ohio State football game Saturday, Oct. 6, at Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium.

Martha Chaffee, who was a student in Purdue's radio and television program during the 1950s, is acquiring the rock through NASA's Ambassadors of Exploration program. The NASA program allows each astronaut, or their survivors, from the Gemini, Apollo or Mercury programs to donate to an educational institution a piece of the 842 pounds of moon rocks and soil collected during six lunar missions.

The Purdue moon rock was collected during the 1972 Apollo 17 mission commanded by Eugene Cernan, a 1956 Purdue alumnus and the last astronaut to walk on the moon.

The sample, which weights approximately 2 grams, will be displayed in a special case in the university's Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering.

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