Charges like these were used in the Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) on Apollo 17, to simulate seismic activity in the Moon's surface. The waves resulting from their detonation were measured, yielding information about the composition of the Moon's crust. The charges were remotely detonated by radio following the ascent from the surface of the astronauts in the Lunar Module.
This artifact was used for training, and was not flown. It was transferred to the Smithsonian from NASA - Johnson Space Center in 1974.
Transferred from the NASA - Johnson Space Center