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NASA Saved Moon Samples for Just This Moment

Samples from final 3 Apollo missions will be studied for the first time
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2019 5:10 PM CDT
This August 2011 image made available by NASA shows paths left by walking astronauts, single lines, and lunar buggy tracks, parallel lines, from the 1972 U.S. Apollo 17 moon mission.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – They've never been exposed to Earth's atmosphere, and for nearly five decades, they've sat untouched in storage. Now, NASA will study lunar samples collected during the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions for the first time, the agency announced Monday. The samples from the final three Apollo missions were kept in storage as "an investment in the future," Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement, per CNN. "These samples were deliberately saved so we can take advantage of today's more advanced and sophisticated technology to answer questions we didn't know we needed to ask." (NASA wants to send people to the moon—to stay.)

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