Fresh out of grad school at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, I came to NASA as a Presidential Management Intern — eager to make my mark on society. When the management at the Johnson Space Center asked what job I wanted first in my two-year rotational plan, I naively said,
“Wherever you need me most.”
So, they sent me to procurement. In procurement, I was handed stacks upon stacks of files and instructed to recover moon rocks NASA loaned out to universities in the 1960’s.
I remember opening up those files to clouds of dust (literally) and thinking I’d landed deeply inside the bowels of bureaucracy. Day after day, I called the phone numbers from the decades-old forms. Most of the numbers were no longer valid. Many of the area codes had changed.
I recovered NOT ONE moon rock.
Nope, not one. Not even a little moon dust (though I was covered in every other kind of dust from those ancient files.)
Epic Fail in my very first space mission.
So, I find this LA Times article amusing. Here’s a great quote:
Lenny Klompus, a spokesman for Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, says the rocks were never actually missing. He says state employees knew the rocks were in a secured cabinet, but they didn’t know which cabinet.
He says the moon rocks will probably be put on public display soon.”
Good ole’ Lenny might just receive a call from someone in NASA procurement — now that we know where our long lost moon rocks are. But…it won’t be me. My moon rock recovery days are over. I’ve had enough file-dust to last a lifetime.