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Contact Soil Sampling Device, Apollo

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This object is on display in the Apollo to the Moon exhibition at the National Mall building.


Manufacturer: NASA, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Overall: 6 11/16 in. tall x 6 1/4 in. wide x 1 5/8 in. deep, 1.1 lb. (17 x 15.9 x 4.2cm, 0.5kg)

Materials: Aluminum - box and pad support, Silicon rubber - seal Adhesives, Beta Cloth or Velvet

Two Contact Soil Sampling Devices were flown on Apollo 16 only. Their purpose was to collect special samples of the uppermost layers of lunar regolith. One device had a sampling pad covered with beta cloth and the other had a velvet-covered pad. To sample regolith undisturbed by the descent engine on the lunar lander or dirt scattered by human activities, the astronaut cautiously approached a large boulder far away from the lander. The sampler was carefully extended down to the protected surface on the farside of the boulder using the long handle.

This particular unit was not actually flown on the mission. It was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1974.

Transferred from NASA, Johnson Space Center.

Inventory number: A19750068000

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