A Piece of the (Moon) Rock at Mining Museum
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHF&M) is anticipating an “Over the Moon” summer. And what better way to demonstrate that, than by hosting a moon rock collected by astronauts during the Apollo 17 mission.
The lunar sample, on loan for the summer from the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, will be on display beginning today, May 30 in the NMHF&M’s “Expanding Boundaries: Harrison Schmitt and the New Mining Frontier.” It will remain on exhibit through Labor Day.
“Expanding Boundaries” is an interactive exhibit funded by a 2010 grant from the Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers. It contains meteorites and other materials from space in the NMHF&M’s collection and on loan from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
The December 1972 Apollo 17 mission was the last manned landing on the moon to date. Astronauts Harrison Schmitt, a geologist and later U.S. Senator from New Mexico, and Eugene Cernan completed geological surveying and sampling of materials and surface features in the Taurus-Littrow region. Materials the astronauts collected, including the moon rock coming to the NMHF&M, were among 842 pounds of rocks and soil returned to earth during six lunar expeditions during 1969 through 1972.
As he departed from the lunar surface, Eugene Cernan, the last person to set foot on the moon, said, “And, as we leave the moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”
“We are very pleased to display this exceptional lunar specimen in our exhibit about extraterrestrial minerals,” said NMHF&M Executive Director Stephen Whittington, adding, “Many believe the future of mining lies on asteroids and other planets.”
SteamPunk Leadville Fundraiser Next Saturday
The day begins at 12:30 p.m. with a 1 p.m. departure on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad for a scenic afternoon train ride. Once the trains returns about 3 p.m., participants will disembark and head downtown for a mosey and some shopping. At 5 p.m. the evening’s events – food, libations, Tesla Coil demonstrations and other entertainment – will begin at the Mining Museum. The evening will finish off with a cash bar and the band Ye Ole Dirty Bastards performing in the convention center ballroom.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.mininghalloffame.org or by calling the museum at 719-486-1229.