Manchester woman wants NASA to recognize her 'moon dust' from Neil Armstrong

Posted at 8:25 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 21:30:22-04

MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WTVF) — Laura Cicco is not asking NASA for the moon, but to her it feels that way.

When she was a child, she was given a vial of "moon dust" from her father's friend, Neil Armstrong.

Cicco barely remembers Armstrong. She vaguely recalls the day in the early seventies that she received the vial because her babysitter made a big deal about it.

"I was not impressed at all. I was into Barbie dolls, horseback riding, and swimming. I was a little girl."

A personal note from Armstrong came with the palm-sized vial. It said: to Laura Ann Murray, Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11.

"I've kept it forever."

For decades, Laura didn't do anything with the "moon dust." However, when her parents passed away, she set out to get it tested.

Because NASA is the only agency that can legally determine if it is lunar material, only a few scientists have agreed to test it.

"Legally I am not allowed to say now what it is, but the story I was told as a child has been 100-percent up to this point."

In the latest report from NASA's Office of the Inspector General, it is reported that astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions did keep property from space explorations.

NewsChannel5 reached out to NASA. A spokesperson acknowledged that Laura is pursuing an answer about the legitimacy of her vial, but because it is an open case it "would be inappropriate to discuss details related to the claims."

Cicco believes NASA is holding back because her gift might make NASA's policies look bad.

"Neil Armstrong is not a thief. I am in no way trying to tarnish his reputation. He was a good man."

Until NASA collects her moon dust, Laura said she will keep trying to reach people.

"What I I want to do is donate samples to different children museums. [My husband and I] have lost two sons now. Children mean a lot to us."