Film Cassette, Lunar Camera, UV, Apollo 16


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 is a film transport assembly flown to the Moon on Apollo 16 that was returned to Earth for the extraction and processing of the exposed film. It was acquired by the Museum in the process of reconstructing the back-up engineering model of the first astronomical telescope to observe from another planetary body. The original unit was designed and built by George Carruthers of the Naval Research Laboratory, who also supported the reconstruction and reintegration. On the moon, the film transport mechanism was operated by astronaut John Young in a programmed series of studies of the Earth's outermost atmosphere, its geocorona. It was also used to examine ultraviolet colors of stars and nebulae as well as the earth's upper atmosphere and diffuse gaseous material in the depths of space. The camera operated in dual mode: spectroscopic and direct view.

This artifact has been installed in one of two back-up units to the flown camera that were transferred from NASA-Johnson Space Center to the Museum in June 1981.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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

Credit Line

Transferred from the Naval Research Laboratory


  • Film Cassette: Steel, aluminum, gold plating, electrical wires, plastic
  • Pin: Steel


  • 3-D (Film Cassette): 21 × 15.2 × 10.2cm (8 1/4 × 6 × 4 in.)
  • 3-D (pin): 6.4 × 2.5 × 1.3cm (2 1/2 × 1 × 1/2 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number