Moon rocks make a lunar landing in Jacksonville

121 Financial Credit Union brings moon rocks to elementary students

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 1-2-1 Financial Credit Union delivered some down to earth moon rocks to hundreds of elementary school students.

"This year's Space Night event at Durbin Creek Elementary School in northern St. Johns County featured a display of space rocks brought back from the moon by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration" said Cindy Breslin with 1-2-1 Financial.

The credit union made arrangements for Deidre Adams, and an Einstein Fellow with NASA  to bring the NASA display to the St. Johns school event.

"This is the third year we have participated in the event. Our credit union tries to take every opportunity possible to support youth education. And even though youth financial education is our primary focus, we frequently participate in many aspects of education that will help develop our young people. We are just fortunate that we have the connections to be able to bring something as extraordinary as the moon rocks to Jacksonville, and to enhance the Durbin Creek Space Night's experience." said Breslin.

Other activities at the Space Night event included telescopes for viewing the stars, a laser light show, a NASA presentation and other fun activities for the entire family.

"We are extremely excited and grateful that 1-2-1 Financial could bring in the moon rocks for our event," said Angie Conlan, Durbin Creek partners in education coordinator. "It's the support of corporate sponsors like 121 Financial that really adds to the learning experience for our kids."

The last time the moon rocks made an appearance in Jacksonville, was in November 2010, when 1-2-1 Financial Credit Union brought in Ms. Adams and her display for the re-opening of the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH).

Between 1969 and 1972 six Apollo missions brought back 842 pounds (382 kilograms) of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. In addition, three automated Soviet spacecrafts returned with samples totaling approximately three quarters of a pound from three other lunar sites. With the cutback in the U.S. space program, no future lunar samples are expected to be collected.

The lunar material is considered a national treasure, and with the exception of two sets of goodwill gifts presented to 135 nations, the 50 states and the U.S. provinces, NASA maintains it has never gifted or otherwise provided any individual with a piece of the moon.

Even the astronauts were not permitted to keep a rock for themselves. Instead, the space agency has recently been presenting moon rocks in name only to the early Mercury, Gemini and Apollo crew members to be put on permanent public display.

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