Why has Joe Biden Added a Moon Rock to Oval Office?

Leia Smith | 02 - 17 - 2021
Moon Rock in the Oval Office

The space community is brimming with pride as a moon rock collected by the lunar scientists from 1972 now decorates the President’s Office. The moon rock has been loaned to the white house based on Biden’s administration’s request and placed on January 20.  “The rock stands as a symbol of the earlier generation’s achievements and accomplishments, and supports America’s current Moon to Mars approach.”

The moon rock is kept at the bottom of a recessed bookshelf next to Benjamin Franklin’s portrait. The lunar sample 76015, 143 recovered by Apollo 17 Astronauts Ronald Evans, Moonwalkers Harrison Schmitt, and Eugene Cernan weighs 332 grams and said to be 3.9 million years old. This rock was chipped off from a 2.918kg larger rock using a boulder. This lunar mission was the last time humans set foot on the moon. The sample was first placed at the German Museum of Technology in Berlin before reaching the white house. 

The moon rock was collected with few other pieces on December 13, 1972, and brought to Earth on December 19, 1972. On the same day the sample was collected, Biden has been elected for the first time to U.S Senate from Delaware. He was 30 years old. 

During which Lunar Mission Was the Moon Rock Collected?
  • A. Apollo 11
  • B. Apollo 3
  • C. Apollo 17
  • D. Apollo 8

Joe Biden is not the first President to place a lunar sample at Oval Office. In 1999, on the 30th Anniversary of Apollo 11, then-President Bill Clinton loaned a Lunar sample 10057, 30 brought home from Neil Armstrong’s efforts, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. The sample was at the Oval Office until January 2001.

President Biden plans on sending the first woman and the next man to the moon by 2024. He also aims at employing women for the NASA administrative role as it has been filled with men since 1958.

Read Next