Hunt for missing piece of the moon
PR dla Zagranicy
Moon dust presented to Poland by American President Richard Nixon in 1973 has disappeared without trace.
The lunar souvenir, which is technically worth millions of dollars, came from the Apollo 17 expedition of December 1972, the last time that humans set foot on the moon.
The sample was transferred to the office of prominent Polish communist, Professor Henryk Jablonski, the then Chairman of the Council of State between 1972 and 1985.
Jablonski also received a plaque commemorating the landmark - or rather moon-mark – Apollo 11 expedition of July 1969, which saw the first human steps onto the moon.
The latter item can be viewed at the Planetarium in the city of Olsztyn, northern Poland. However, the fate of the Apollo 17 moon dust is a mystery.
The Council of State was abolished with the fall of communism in 1989, and the office of the President of Poland took over many of its duties.
However, the president's office has told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily that it does not possess any lunar samples, although it acknowledged that a record of the gift endures in the archives.
Polish space enthusiasts are hoping that the sample has not gone the same way as one presented to Ireland in 1969.
The Irish moon dust was accidentally thrown away in 1977, after a fire ravaged the country's Dunsink Observatory. (nh/pg)