For the first time in the southern hemisphere, people will be able to get their hands on a piece of the moon, all without leaving Canberra.
A fragment of lunar sample 70215, known as the lunar touchstone, will be on display at Geoscience Australia on long-term loan from NASA.
It is the first time a segment of the more than three-billion-year-old rock, brought back on the Apollo 17 mission, has gone on display in Canberra.
Geoscience Australia curator Steven Petrovski said it was a privilege to be displaying the sample, one of 11 globally.
"We're really privileged to be the only place in the southern hemisphere where visitors can now touch a mon rock that was specially brought back from an Apollo mission, rather than a piece that fell to earth as a meteorite," he said.
To commemorate 50 years since the first moon landing, four moon rocks will be on display around Canberra as part of a trail linking Geoscience Australia, the National Museum, Questacon, CSIRO's Deep Space Communication Complex and the Australian National University.
The trail, which will be open on Friday, shows the strong ties between Australia and NASA during the manned moon missions.
At Questacon, a fragment of the moon brought back on the Apollo 11 mission has been loaned from the National Archives for display alongside an Australian flag the crew took to the moon.
At CSIRO's Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla, the largest moon rock on display in Australia still inspires the centre's visitors. The director of the complex, CSIRO's Ed Kruzins, said the work of Honeysuckle Creek and the Parkes Radio Telescope played a key role in the landing, but there was another element that captured Australians' imaginations.
"I think Australians tend to have an explorer spirit in them. I think it's a bit of that coming out as well. We were not only part of history, but also the explorer spirit, visiting various places - it's kind of in our DNA. Maybe that's what drives the public's [imagination]," Dr Kruzins said.
Australian National University astronomer Brad Tucker said one of the hidden gems on the trail was the moon sculpture at the Mt Stromlo observatory. "Our moon sculpture allows you to not only touch a piece of the moon but to walk on it - experiencing first-hand the wonders of space," he said.
The digital programs co-ordinator at the National Museum, Robert Bunzli, said the trail took people further than the first historic steps.
"Each of these rocks have come from different missions. The museum's rock came from the Apollo 17, and the other rocks have come from different parts of the moon on different missions.
"As you progress along the moon rock trail, there's that opportunity to dive deeper into the exploration of the moon," he said.