Borrow the Moon

You can borrow samples of Moon rock and Meteorites, in STFC's Loan Scheme.

Valuable samples of moon rock and soil were brought back to Earth by NASA's Apollo astronauts. STFC is the only authorised source for the loan of this precious material to educational or scientific organisations within the United Kingdom. Five educational packages are available free of charge (including special security delivery/collection) for short term loans of lunar samples and meteorites.

The samples were collected during NASA's manned space missions to the Moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During these missions the Apollo astronauts brought back to earth 382 kilograms of lunar material. NASA decided to use a small proportion of the rock and soil to develop lunar and planetary sciences educational packages.

The pack also includes meteorite samples, one is an actual piece of Mars. Educational support material suitable for all ages, together with Moon maps and photographic slides allow this resource to be tailored to the needs and abilities of any group.

Normal loan period: One Week, Monday - Friday.

Please give us at least four months notice for booking the lunar samples.

How to Apply

For further information and how to apply for a loan, read the security rules for borrowers and then view the frequently asked questions.

The application form will not fully display until you have agreed to the security rules.

Key facts

About the samples

  • The lunar samples are presented in encapsulated discs and thin sections for viewing through a microscope*
  • They are of interest to everyone from a young child to a geology student
  • Each package also contains different examples of meteorites, put together by the Natural History Museum, NASA and STFC
  • Some sets have sectioned samples, and every set has chunk-sized pieces of meteorite that can be handled
  • Comprehensive support material is included with each loan. Hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, museums and astronomical societies throughout the UK have enjoyed the samples since the scheme began

* The thin sections are only available to University level students.


There are five educational packages available to borrow from STFC.

Colour of bag:-
(Suitable for:)
(Primary school - adult)
(Primary school
 - adult)
(Primary school
 - adult)
(Primary school
Orange (University)
Encapsulated disc of lunar samples Yes Yes Yes Yes None
Meteorite chunks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Encapsulated disc of Meteorite None None None Yes None
Meteorite thin sections None None None None Yes
Twelve lunar thin samples None None None None Yes


Public Relations Service

We can help you advertise the loan of the lunar and meteorite samples to your institution. During the security visit to the site of the loan you will be asked if you require an STFC press release to be issued. This would then be issued at the start of the loan to your local media, who would then contact the loan official at their school/venue. For details, please contact the press office.


If you have any further queries concerning the scheme, please contact:

STFC's Public Engagement Team
Tel: +44 (0)1793 442 030

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000