Uncle Sam (the US government) inadvertently sold the moon mission sample bag that was used in the Apollo 11 venture. This is a blunder that should not have occurred.
During the Apollo 11 moon mission, a bag of lunar soil was used which is now the source of a wrangle. This bag was there on board the mission when the astronauts flew to the moon in 1969.
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It is recognized as being the first bag to be used to carry samples of the lunar soil. It has now become a bone of contention for the US government which accidentally sold it.
An investigation took place regarding a criminal case that went against the former director of Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Max Ary. The agency found that there were inconsistencies in the inventory regarding certain items.
This took place more than a dozen years ago. More in-depth analysis revealed that several items had been removed from the showcases of the museum and sold.
This strengthened the case against Max Ary. Later on it was discovered that virtually hundreds of such items were missing from the large collection of space memorabilia.
Most of these had been borrowed from NASA. One of them was the original lunar bag. It was recovered from Ary’s garage. Ary was later on put on trial in court and convicted of stealing and selling items that were not his to begin with.
Ary had made lucrative sales amounting to $180,000. The items he sold included: an astronaut’s T-shirt, an Air Force One control panel, a water valve and, last but not least, the nozzle of a rocket.
A year ago, the bag was accidentally sold to Nancy Carlson at a government auction. It was a big blunder. The bag cost Carlson $995 and later on she had its authenticity confirmed via the Johnson Space Center.
NASA withheld the bag but Carlson sued the agency over this action. She demanded that the bag be returned. The federal investigators are trying to get the judge presiding over the case to allow a refund of the $995 to be made in the name of Carlson so that the bag can be repossessed by NASA.
This blatant error occurred due to the faulty thinking of a clerical staff member. Two different bags had been assigned the same number, according to Techtimes.
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Meanwhile, Max Ary has served his sentence and is a free man today. Even today he maintains that he was innocent since he had only mistakenly mixed up the museum collection with his private collection of items.