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Austin man has meteorite collection including pieces of the moon and Mars

Over years, Mendy Ouzillou has built up quite the collection of moon rocks as a collector and dealer.

AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin man has his own way of remembering the Apollo moon landing, by holding a piece of the moon himself.

It might be an odd collection.

"It's just way too much fun," said Mendy Ouzillou, a meteorite collector and dealer. "Like I said, it's literally my full-time job and my full-time passion as well."

Rocks, piled up on the coffee table, are displayed as pieces of art.

"Some of them very much are works of art for me," said Ouzillou.

These are extremely special and valuable rocks.

"So I'm holding in my hand a 367-gram meteorite that comes from the moon," he said. "It's an absolutely fascinating thing to be able to hold a piece of the moon in your hand and actually look up and see the moon – you can kind of feel that connection in a way that's really, really hard to describe."

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A piece of space can cost thousands of dollars per gram. But it not only gives Ouzillou something unique but also scientists a peek into other worlds.

"These are really important meteorites to figure out everything from planetary formation to human and biological life," he said. "You know, listen, there's an aspect of meteorites that brings out the kids in all of us."

RELATED: Apollo 11 moon landing remains one of the most watched TV moments

So while it may be an odd collection, the curiosity of space is what keeps Ouzillou getting more and more.

"There's so much out there that we really just don't know about," he said.

He is also a dealer and says half of his clients are other collectors, but the other half are scientists looking for more information on space.


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