Skip to main content

Apollo 17 Goodwill moon rock

 Item — Object: Apollo 17 Goodwill moon rock, 1972
Identifier: 1636-0017

Scope and Contents

The Apollo 17 Goodwill moon rock consists of 1.14 grams of a moon rock fragment placed inside a solid piece of acrylic lucite, the Moon rock being embedded inside the Lucite material when it was molten. The clear plastic ball is about the size of a billiard ball and partially flat at the bottom. It is mounted and glued onto a 10 inch by 14 inch wooden plaque.

The next item directly below the Lucite ball is a metal plate of about 2 inches by 4 inches that reads:

The fragment is a portion of a rock from the Taurus Valley of the Moon. It was part of a larger rock composed of many particles of different shapes and sizes, a symbol of the unity of human endeavor and mankind's hope for a future of peace and harmony.

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations state flag is about 4 inches by 6 inches (precisely 10.16 cm x 15.24 cm) and is mounted directly below the metal plate covered with a clear plastic cover.

Another metal descriptive plate is attached directly below the state flag that reads:

This flag of your state was carried to the Moon aboard Spacecraft America during the Apollo XVII mission,
December 7–19, 1972.
Presented to the people of the state of Rhode Island
by the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


  • Creation: 1972

Biographical / Historical

The Apollo 17 wooden plaque displays with the goodwill Moon rocks were presented to all the states of the United States and all the countries of the world on March 21, 1973. President Nixon sent a letter on that date that accompanied the lunar sample displays to all the worldwide countries and all the states of the United States and its possessions. National Archives in Washington D.C. has a copy of this letter:

The Apollo lunar landing program conducted by the United States has been brought to a successful conclusion. Men from the planet Earth have reached the first milestone in space. But as we stretch for the stars, we know that we stand also upon the shoulders of many men of many nations here on our own planet. In the deepest sense our exploration of the moon was truly an international effort.

It is for this reason that, on behalf of the people of the United States I present this flag, which was carried to the moon, to the State, and its fragment of the moon obtained during the final lunar mission of the Apollo program.

If people of many nations can act together to achieve the dreams of humanity in space, then surely we can act together to accomplish humanity's dream of peace here on earth. It was in this spirit that the United States of America went to the moon, and it is in this spirit that we look forward to sharing what we have done and what we have learned with all mankind.


0.45 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The Apollo 17 lunar sample display consists of a Moon rock fragment from a lava Moon stone identified as lunar basalt 70017, the recipient's flag and two small metal plates attached with descriptive messages. A goodwill gift from the Apollo 17 mission was then given in the form of a wooden commemorative plaque display individually to all fifty states, five U.S. territories, and 135 nations worldwide. Rhode Island owns No. 277.

Rhode Island Digital Archives

Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script

Repository Details

Part of the Rhode Island State Archives Repository

33 Broad Street
Providence RI 02903 USA