Fragment of moon rock makes rare appearance

Media release: Monday, 4 September 2017

A fragment of moon rock, held by the National Archives of Australia, is making a rare appearance in the new exhibitionFrom outback to outer space: Woomera 1955 - 1980 now open in Adelaide.

The free exhibition is a partnership between the National Archives of Australia and the State Library of South Australia.

Curated by space historian and curator Kerrie Dougherty, the exhibition explores life in the 'top secret' outback town of Woomera, the very heart of the space race for Australia. This year marks the 70th year of Woomera's establishment.

'The State Library and the National Archives are strongly linked through our extensive collection material as well as through our colocation in the State Library building. A collaboration of this nature was a natural extension of our shared presence in Adelaide,' said National Archives of Australia Director-General David Fricker.

'This exhibition gives the Archives an opportunity to open our collection up to a new audience, including displaying one of our most valuable items: fragments of rock collected from the Moon's surface in 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission. Many of the images displayed in this exhibition also come from various series held by the Archives, including film footage that has never been shown publicly until now. We look forward to presenting the exhibition at our National Office in Canberra in late 2019.'

Also on display are items belonging to the State Library of South Australia, Defence Science and Technology Group, South Australian Aviation Museum and the Woomera historical museums.

The exhibition is part of the 68th International Astronautical Congress Cultural program — the world's largest annual gathering of space professionals. This year's Congress will be held in Adelaide from 25 ̶ 29 September.

'An exhibition of this scope doesn't happen in isolation. We have been delighted to partner with the National Archives of Australia, the International Astronautical Congress, and others to bring this fascinating and important part of Australia's history to life,' said State Library of South Australia Director Alan Smith.

Exhibition details:
23 August to 12 November 2017
Open daily closed public holidays)
State Library of South Australia
Corner North terrace and Kintore Avenue
Free entry

Downloadable items

Contact information

  • Sophia McDonald (Senior Communications Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3697 m 0417 247 157 e

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Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019