Hello, I'm Norbert Classen. Like so many boys who grew up in the late 60s and early 70s, I've always been hypnotized by the NASA missions - especially by the Apollo program, and the first moonlandings. Neil Armstrong's small step proved to be indeed one giant leap for mankind, and the stuff of which a child's dream is made. Of course, I wanted to become an astronaut, fly to the Moon, and beyond to explore the vastness of the universe! However, like so many childhood dreams, it didn't come true at least not in the way I had planned it.
Years later, I stumbled on an alternate route to the stars. Since my early childhood, I had been collecting rocks and minerals, and one day in the early 1990s I ran into Gregor Pacer, a Polish meteorite dealer, at one of our local mineral fairs. There they were, sitting on his shelfs - meteorites, genuine rocks from space! Although I had read about meteorites in various books I hadnít been aware that it was possible at all to privately own a piece of these messengers from space. I always had thought that the few meteoritic samples in existence were all safely locked away in museums and institutions Ė unattainable and out of reach, just like the Moon and the stars.
My passion for space was reborn. Back then, as a starving student, I hadnít the money to afford much more than a small slice of an etched Gibeon, and a tiny Pultusk pea. In the years to follow, as I got more and more successful as an author and freelance writer, I spent most of my bucks in acquiring new meteorites for my growing collection, such as a variety of irons, chondrites, some eucrites, a beautiful slice of Esquel, and a 1 gram block of Zagami, my first Martian meteorite. I was hooked on my new hobby, and I spent a lot of my time studying the available literature.
Since the late 1990s, I focus more and more on some of the crown juwels of meteorites, the rare achondrites, and especially on the samples of planetary origin Ė lunar and martian rocks. During the last few years I've been hunting planetary meteorites on mineral shows, the internet, eBay, and in the deserts of Arabia. In 2003 my dearest dream came true, and I found my first lunar meteorite. Going to show that some dreams come true, in the end.
From 2004 to 2010 I served on the IMCA Board of Directors, two years as the Vice President, and three years as the President of the Association.