A woman named Laura Cicco, formerly Laura Murray, who currently lives in Tennessee, has filed a lawsuit against NASA over a vial of moon dust she was given in her youth. Laura is one of just a few people that possess moon dust. The story of how she came to be in possession of this vial of moon dust is a pretty cool one, to say the least. Neil Armstrong was friends with her father, Tom Murray. As reported by the Washington Post, Laura's father Tom was in the US Army Air Corps during World War II and was an FAA pilot. According to Gizmodo, they both belonged to a secret male aviation club called the "Quiet Birdman."

The dust in question

Laura received this vial of moon dust along with a handwritten note from Neil Armstrong when she was 10 years old.

Neil's letter to her read "To Laura Ann Murry, Best of luck Neil Armstrong Apollo 11." According to Gizmodo, the letter has been tested for authenticity, and it is, in fact, Neil Armstrong's writing and signature.

As reported by the New York Post, the moon dust has been studied twice, and the scientists are pretty sure it is just moon dust from the surface of the moon, but they also think there may be terrestrial origin material mixed in the sample that Laura owns. Gizmodo further reports that the sample has some similarities to the earth's crust and may have some of the earth's surface in there as well.

A tiny vial, a big case

Laura's parents have, unfortunately, passed away in the last few years and Laura was going through their possessions trying to figure out what to do with all of her parents' things.

To her surprise, they still had the vial and it was in one of the boxes safely stored away. According to the Washington Post, when she discovered the vial she immediately ran to find her husband, and show him that she found the vial of moon dust. They were both excited, but they were both also worried that NASA would come and take the sample away from them. Their fear comes from past lawsuits that NASA was a part of that involved lunar samples and the public.

NASA, according to the New York Post, has a nasty habit of trying to take back moon samples that the public may own. Apparently, NASA believes that all lunar samples belong strictly to them as stated in the Lunar Allocations Handbook that they wrote and published. So Laura and her husband decided to beat NASA to the punch and file this lawsuit against them so they can't come and take the gift that she received so long ago from Neil Armstrong.

Laura's lawyer stated to the Washington Post that NASA doesn't really have a foot to stand on with this since there isn't any law against someone owning moon dust. NASA hasn't spoken out about this lawsuit publically yet. They have been served and have up to 60 days to respond to the lawsuit. The Washington Post also stated that the vial is safely stored away until the lawsuit is finalized between Laura and NASA.