These mouse trap-like devices were used to collect samples of soil from the lunar surface. A sampler was attached to an extension handle, opened and pressed down onto the surface. A cloth patch on the face of the sampler would collect the uppermost particles of lunar material from the surface. When lifted from the surface, the device would spring shut, protecting the sample.
Lunar Sample Return Container
This sample return container, or "rock box" is one of two used by Apollo 11 astronauts to return 21.6 kilograms (47.7 pounds) of lunar material to the Earth following the first walk on the Moon, July 20, 1969. The containers are constructed of aluminum and stainless steel.After an Apollo lunar module (LM) descended to the lunar surface, the astronauts took the sample return containers form a storage compartment in the descent stage. The containers were then filled with lunar material, sealed, and returned to the ascent stage of the LM. The steel mesh pads in the boxes protected the lunar samples from damage during reentry and splashdown.
Examining the Moon
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