Officials have called the bag "a rare artifact, if not a national treasure.”
In 2005, Max Ary, the ex-director of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, was convicted of stealing and selling museum artifacts. The white bag was found in his garage during a raid.
When the bag was inventoried, it was given the same number as one used during the final Apollo 17 mission in 1972. That bag had also been stolen, and sold by Ary for $24,150, though it has since been recovered.
Last year, Nancy Carlson from Illinois bought the bag at a government auction for $995. When she excitedly sent her purchase to NASA to confirm its authenticity, officials refused to return it to her.
In June, Carlson filed a lawsuit to have the bag returned to her, but prosecutors are fighting to have the sale rescinded and her money refunded. They claim it is justified as NASA was not properly notified that the bag was to be sold, as it was misidentified in the system.