"NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released an audit examining NASA's controls over loans of moon rocks and other astromaterials to researchers, exhibitors, and educators. NASA's collection of astromaterials includes approximately 140,000 lunar samples, 18,000 meteorite samples, and about 5,000 solar wind, comet, and cosmic dust samples. These samples constitute a rare and limited resource and serve an important role for research and education. As of March 2011, NASA had more than 26,000 astromaterial samples on loan."
"In two cases, one researcher still had nine lunar samples he borrowed 35 years ago and another had 10 chunks of meteorites he kept for 14 years. Neither had ever worked on them. Another researcher had 36 moon samples and kept them for 16 years after he had finished his research."
- NASA IG Refuses To Comment on Official Abuse of Elderly Woman, earlier post
Keith's note: It should be abundantly clear by now that the NASA IG and General Counsel offices have no consistent policy whatsoever when it comes to selling historic Apollo era artifacts. In some cases you can sell pieces of the Moon, and in other cases you cannot. In some cases you can sell items used during Apollo missions, in other cases, you cannot. And of course, it is also acceptable practice to rough up little old ladies and threaten lawsuits against elderly former astronauts.