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Moon rocks found in Minnesota storage

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Minnesota National Guard officials have found a few small fragments of the moon's surface in storage in a state building in St. Paul, the Associated Press reports.

The pebbles were found among military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul, the Star Tribune reports.

The rocks came from President Richard Nixon, who also presented a Minnesota state flag that was carried on the Apollo 11 mission, the AP says. Nixon gave rocks to all the states. But it's not clear how these rocks ended up in the Veterans building storage, the Star Tribune says.

The National Guard plans to give the moon rocks to the Minnesota Historical Society at an event Wednesday with students from STARBASE Minnesota, a math and science program.

It's hardly the first moon rock to turn up under odd circumstances. Over the decades, hundreds of moon rocks and other space objects have been lost, destroyed, stolen or remain unaccounted for, the New York Times reported earlier this year. Some have been found: one in a dentist's basement, another in Bill Clinton's memorabilia, the newspaper reports.

Some of the samples were presented by American astronauts and presidents to U.S. and foreign dignitaries around the world decades ago. Others were on loan from NASA for education, research and public display, the Times reported.

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