ALSRC, Apollo Lunar Sample Return Container, Apollo 11


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The Apollo Lunar Sample Return Container (ALSRC) is an aluminum box with a triple seal. Containters of this type were used on lunar landing missions to preserve a lunar-like vacuum around lunar soil samples and protect them from shock impacts during the 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.

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. The sample-laden container was opened under controlled conditions in NASA's Lunar Receiving Laboratory in Houston.

This ALSRC was flown on Apollo 11. The NASA - Manned Spacecraft Center transferred it to the Museum in 1970.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from the NASA - Manned Spacecraft Center

Country of Origin

United States of America


7075 AA aluminum case, 2024 aluminum alloy mesh lining


Overall: 20 1/2 in. wide x 12 1/2 in. deep x 8 in. tall, 19.4 lb. (52.07 x 31.75 x 20.3cm, 8.8kg)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum