Apollo 11 moon rocks found in Minnesota National Guard storage - FOX 35 News Orlando

Apollo 11 moon rocks found in Minnesota National Guard storage area

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota National Guard found moon rocks mixed-in with military artifacts in a storage area in St. Paul.

The moon rocks are from the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 -- the historic mission when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon.

"The Apollo 11 moon rocks were found amongst military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul," said Army Maj. Blane R. Iffert.

Approximately 180 moon rocks are currently unaccounted for of the 270 from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 missions.

"We've just lowered that number by one," Iffert said.

Minnesota's moon rocks came from President Richard Nixon, who also presented a Minnesota state flag that was carried on the Apollo 11 mission.

The rocks are scheduled to be transferred Wednesday from the Minnesota National Guard to the Minnesota Historical Society in front of an audience of children at Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration (STARBASE) Minnesota.

"We are honored to have this in our collection to preserve for future generations," said Pat Gaarder, Minnesota Historical Society deputy director. "Space exploration is an important part of our shared history. It is also exciting to think that our collection includes artifacts from across the globe and now with these moon rocks, the galaxy."

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