Curator Indicted for Stealing Space Stuff
But now, the U.S. Department of Justice has indicted the former director of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center for stealing and selling to collectors artifacts from the space flight museum.
The shame of it all. A flown Apollo 12 water shut-off valve. An in-flight crew shirt. A nose cone. A flown Apollo 13 bus bar battery cable . A rotation controller. A purge valve for a spacesuit. These are some of the items federal prosecutors allege Ary ripped off from the Cosmosphere.
Alas, for crossing over to the dark side, if indeed he is found guilty, Ary faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 fines on each count of wire and mail fraud, as well as up to 10 years $250,000 fines on each count of theft and transportation of stolen properties.
Reports of missing artifacts at the Cosmosphere first surfaced in 2003.
Meanwhile, on collectSpace, where one editor has already admitted to innocently purchasing a "stolen" artifact from Ary, and later returning it, space collectors and enthusiasts ponder the sad saga.