Location: The Hague, NL
Size: 1.2m x 0.6m x 0.6m
Subject: Moonstone display unit, Satellite Gallery
You can now see the Moon in Museon! The city of The Hague has a moonstone on loan from NASA. What makes this extra special is that visitors may actually touch it. There are only ten places in the world where this is possible.
The satellite gallery was chosen as the ideal place for visitors to see the moonstone. A new pedestal was specially made, following the design language of the room. This piece of the Moon was displayed on top. In addition, an AV screen on the side of the pedestal showed background information.
The design challenge was to combine NASA’s security requirements with Museon’s request for maximum accessibility.
Apollo 17 (text www.museon.nl)
This moonstone was taken during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. It is 3.8 billion years old. The Apollo 17 module landed in the Taurus-Littrow Valley on the Moon on the edge of the Sea of Serenity. Astronauts Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt and Eugene Cernan brought more than 740 individual rock and soil samples from this location. Our small moonstone weighs 25 grams and is a type of basalt. It is fine-grained, dark-coloured solidified rock rich in iron, magnesium and plagioclase feldspar – a common mineral on Earth. Like many other basalts found on the Moon, the stone contains more titanium than normal basalts. This stone is placed in a specially designed open container and may be touched.