March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
The Apollo Lunar Sample Return Container (ALSRC) was an aluminum box with a triple seal. It was used on Apollo lunar landing missions to preserve a lunar-like vacuum around the samples and protect them from the shock environment of the Earth return flight. An aluminum mesh liner helped absorb the shock impacts. Prior to flight, each box was loaded with sample container bags and other sample containment devices. The "rock box" was then closed under vacuum so that it would not contain pressure greater than the lunar ambient pressure. On the Moon, while samples were being loaded, the seals were protected by a Teflon film and a cloth cover which were removed just prior to closing the box. Two ALSRC's were used on each mission.
This particular ALSRC, made by Union Carbide, was for ground training. It is similar to the containers that actually flew to the Moon and were returned with lunar samples on the Apollo missions. NASA transferred it to the Museum in 1974.
Transferred from NASA, Johnson Space Center.