HOUSTON—Earlier this week, scientists in the Lunar Curation Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center here did something they haven’t done in more than four decades—open a previously untouched sample of the 842 lb. of rocks and soil returned to Earth by Apollo astronauts. The just-opened sample came from a 1.5-in.-wide, 2-ft.-long tube driven into the soil at the Lara Crater region in the Apollo 17 landing site of Taurus Littrow by late mission commander Gene Cernan ...

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