Neil Armstrong discusses “Bock”

Posted By on April 20, 2006

Neil ArmstrongLocal resident, retired University of Cincinnati Professor and astronaut Neil Armstrong made a rare appearance along with John Glenn, family and 300 others at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal earlier this week. He gave a talk on the importance of natural history, geologists and the museums preserving and teaching about natural history. Armstong was awarded the Ambassador of Exploration Award, as he was one of 38 other astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs recognized by NASA. He was given a small sliver of the moon rock that he collected encased in lucite that will be on display at the museum.

Most of us remember Neil Armstrong as the first man to step on the moon in July of 1969 and as a dedicated test pilot turned astronaut during the space race. Tuesday he reflected on the 117 gram ‘moon rock’ he called “Bock” that he collected from the surface of the moon — a piece of which will be on display at the museum. He recalled thinking that this old rock (estimated by scientist to be 3.7 billion years old) from the perspective of the moon would have seen the development of our planet.

BockArmstong said, “I was the strange creature that kidnapped Bock from his homeland and brought him to this strange, new and still-changing planet. I can’t help feeling that I owe him an apology or at least an explanation.” That explanation, he said, would be that humans “want to know where they’ve been and to know better where we’re going.”

If you are looking for an interesting afternoon, consider visiting the Cincinnati Museum Center and be sure to check out the moon rock display on the west end; its only about 2 grams but is from the original rock (Bock) … Neil Armstrong referred to it as “a chip of the old Bock.”

Yes … the comments were a little out there, but then so was Neil Armstrong on July 20th, 1969.


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