On Wednesday 12 June, rare samples of moon rocks and meteorites landed at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School. After arranging with the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to borrow the moon for a week, pupils were given the opportunity to handle pieces of meteorites along with lunar samples. These were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the moon.
The samples were provided free of charge by the STFC and the pack included a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars rock and a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite. It is unlikely that students will get a chance to hold an object older than this, since the Earth itself was formed 4.6 billion years ago!
Boys and staff across the entire school enjoyed viewing the samples and learned much from talks given by Mr Kerr, Mr Pauletto and Mr Smith. One pupil said: “It was incredible to see pieces of Mars, the moon and meteorites up close - especially as it is my dream to be the first man on Mars.” Mr Smith added: “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to learn about these rare samples and inspire our students and colleagues to learn more about space science.”
Samples like these can tell us a great deal about the planets, from which they originate, but there is still much to learn. The STFC hopes that these experiences will encourage students to become the next generation of astronomers.
The School would like to thank the STFC for this fantastic opportunity, which was truly out of this world!