Image: Moon rock
NASA
This lunar rock from the Apollo 17 mission, known as Sample 70017 or the "Goodwill Rock," was cut up into hundreds of pieces and distributed to all 50 states and more than 130 nations. Colorado's tiny piece of the rock ended up on a plaque hanging on the wall of the state's ex-governor.
updated 6/1/2010 4:50:28 PM ET 2010-06-01T20:50:28

A missing moon rock awarded to Colorado in 1974 has turned up in an ex-governor's house.

The lunar souvenir was given to former Gov. John Vanderhoof by the Nixon administration, which awarded bits of moon rubble to all 50 states and more than 130 foreign countries.

Vanderhoof is now 88 and living in Grand Junction. He has kept the rock on a plaque in his house and didn't think much of it until college students started looking for the moon rocks. On Tuesday, a Denver television station called to ask if he had Colorado's.

Vanderhoof joked that he had offered the rock to museums, but no one was interested. Its estimated value is $5 million.

Another set of moon rocks awarded to Colorado was found in storage at the state history museum about a decade ago.

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