Judge says NASA must return Apollo artifact to woman

A judge has ruled in an out-of-this world legal battle: NASA must return an Apollo 11 moon rock bag an Illinois woman bought at auction for $995.

The U.S. Marshals Service auctioned it off as seized property and Nancy Carlson of Inverness, Ill., bought it. The bag was sent to NASA for authentication, but never given back. The bag has moon dust in it, but no actual rocks.

"I've never run across anything in my career like this and researching it was difficult. There hasn't been a case like this in this country regarding a space artifact or really any other artifact where the government actually sold the item and then wanted to rescind the sale," said Chris McHugh, the attorney who represented Nancy Carlson.

McHugh said Carlson still hasn't gotten the bag back.

"I would hope that given Judge Martin's ruling, that the judge in Houston would order the bag returned and I feel confident that NASA would follow that order," McHugh said.

FOX 35 has contacted NASA to find out when the moon rock bag will be given back, but we did not hear back.