Bhubaneswar: A museum in Odisha’s Nayagarh district has something incredible in its possession.
The museum, set up by Dasarathi Pattanaik (popularly known as Dasia Aja), at Udayapur in Nayagarh has three pieces of moon rocks, collected from the United States (US) in 1984.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of US had brought around 380 kilograms of rocks, pebbles, sand and dust from the moon during the six Apollo landings from 1969 to 1972.
NASA had shared the rock samples with many research institutes across the globe. Professor Bikarm Das, son of Pandit Nilakantha Das, had brought the moon rock samples to Odisha, sources said.
Many people had then urged Professor Das to store the moon rocks at Odisha State Museum in Bhubaneswar. Das, however, donated three pieces of moon rocks to Dasia Aja for his museum at Udayapur.
An elated Dasia Aja had called on several eminent personalities in Odisha including former Chief Ministers Harekrushna Mahtab, Biju Patnaik, JB Patnaik and Nandini Satpathy, Samaj Editor Radhanath Rath, Justice Harihar Mahapatra, poet Sachhi Routray, Padmabhusan Gopinath Mohanty, freedom fighter Malati Choudhury and historian Satyanarayan Rajguru to show them the rare objects, sources added.
Many scientists and researchers have visited the museum at Udayapur to have a glimpse of the moon rocks.
“The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has landed a spacecraft on moon under its Chandrayaan-3 mission recently. But, one cannot find moon rocks in any research institute in India. That is why many scientists from across the country and aboard have visited Dasia Aja museum at Udayapur to get firsthand knowledge of the moon rocks,” said a researcher.