An anonymous reader writes "Computer simulations of what bits of Earth, Mars and Venus might be found on the moon point to new methods for extraterrestrial sample return. Because the moon is lifeless, its sterile condition gives a very rare laboratory for collecting what may be as high as 3 grams of Earth's past, from the half-ton of lunar rocks and soil that Apollo returned for study [3 grams (Earth-terran), 0.03 grams (Mars), 0.003 grams (Venus)]. While such interplanetary exchanges are now thought common, what is surprising is these pristine samples often have never exceeded a temperature of around 100 F. Any similar planetary samples found today in, say, Antarctica, would have been weathered, eroded, or contaminated."
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