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NASA Just Opened a 50-Year-Old Time Capsule From Moon for First Time

NASA Just Opened a 50-Year-Old Time Capsule From Moon for First Time

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In December 1972, NASA astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt drilled into the surface of the moon to collect lunar soil samples for transport back to Earth.

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This week, NASA finally opened one of the vacuum-sealed samples for the first time. 

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The work was done as part of the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program, or Angsa, at Johnson Space Center in Houston.   

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Now, with the cat out of the bag, or rather the regolith out of the tube, the sample needs to be analyzed to see what exactly has been waiting half a century to be discovered.

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NASA astromaterials curator Francis McCubbin says today's astronauts will also pay the gift forward to scientists working in the latter half of this century. 

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"We curated these samples for the long term, so that scientists 50 years in the future could analyze them,"  McCubbin says.

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