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Experiment, Solar Wind Composition, Apollo


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Apollo to the Moon exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This experiment was deployed on Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 to determine the chemical composition of solar wind. The moon provided an excellent location to study solar wind because, unlike the Earth, it has no magnetic field to deflect solar wind and no atmosphere to absorb it. The solar wind composition experiment consisted of an aluminum (or in the case of Apollo 16, aluminum and platinum) foil sheet erected on a pole. The charged particles comprising the solar wind would embed in the foil, which would be taken back to Earth for analysis.

It was donated to the Smithsonian by the experiment's Principle Investigator in 1974.

Collection Item Long Description:


Experiment, Solar Wind, Composition, Apollo

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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

Credit Line

Donated by Dr. J. Geiss, University of Bern


Stand: Aluminum


3-D: 37 × 4 × 160cm (14 9/16 × 1 9/16 × 63 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number