Between 1969 and 1972, six of NASA’s Apollo missions brought back a total of 2,196 specimens of soils, breccias, rocks and core samples from the surface of the Moon. These lunar samples are an irreplaceable legacy of the Apollo program, and the most extensive set of samples returned from the surface of another planetary body. For 45 years, this prestigious collection has been maintained and curated at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) and made accessible to the global research community.

Thousands of studies have been conducted on these samples which generated a vast body of data on their chemical, mineralogical and physical properties. These data have formed the basis of many new discoveries and insights, and they continue to be of fundamental relevance to solving many open scientific questions, such as the cause and timing of the Earth-Moon system, the origin of the lunar mantle and crust, the bombardment history of the solar system.