Lunar Exhibition by President Biden in the Oval Office

When explorers found the moon rock, which is currently on display in the White House on the lunar surface, Joe Biden was 3-weeks from assuming office as a new United States senator. Biden, as well as lunar sample 76015,143, will also occupy the Oval Office for six years in Congress, 2-terms as Vice President of the U.S. and one presidential inauguration later. The Biden Administration asked the Apollo-recovered moon rock to demonstrate “a significant acknowledgment of earlier pioneers” ambitions and achievements and promote United States’ current moon to the Mars exploration approach, as per NASA agency.

Sitting on the base shelf of the recessed bookcase next to a drawn portrait of Ben Franklin as well as next to the Resolute Desk, the 0.7-pound rock is protected by an enclosed in glass and metal clamp. Ellen Stofan, who works at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, as a director in Washington, D.C., posted on Twitter, reacting to an image of the freshly-redecorated room as made public by The Washington Post on Wednesday, “Thank you to United States’ president for placing the NASA moon rock in Oval Office — It’s amazing what we can be able to do as a nation when we are united” (January 20).

A detailed plaque on White House’s base moon rock exhibit describes the Apollo 17 space explorers Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan, the very last (up to date) humans to be able to walk on the moon, slotted the sample “from a massive boulder at the base of North Massif in Taurus-Littrow Valley.” On December 19, 1972, Schmitt and Cernan returned the study, and many others like it, to the Earth along with the command module pilot by the name Ron Evans (lunar sample 76015 was gathered six days earlier on December 13, 1972).

The parent 6.2-pound rock was broken into smaller pieces, including number 143, the odd form fragment currently in Oval Office, after it was sent to Lunar Receiving Laboratory at Manned Spacecraft Center of NASA (today being referred to as Johnson Space Center) situated in Houston, Texas. The identical moon rock was displayed at the German Museum of Technology (Deutsches Technikmuseum) located in Berlin before arrival at the White House. “We selected this sample as a perfect reflection of both the distinctiveness of lunar specimens, the tiny craters created by micrometeorites which can be visible on one side, as well as the proof of the scientific research that is being conducted on the sample which can be clearly seen in the flat, sawn sections,” a spokeswoman for NASA informed collectSPACE.com.

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