Apollo 11 Flotation Collar


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Human Spaceflight exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

Following the July 24, 1969 splashdown of the Apollo 11 Command Module in the mid-Pacific ocean, about 13 nautical miles from the prime recovery ship, USS HORNET, a recovery helicopter dropped Navy swimmers into the water. The swimmer's first task was to stabilize the command module by attaching and inflating a custom-made flotation collar around the blunt end of the spacecraft. The next task was to attach a large, seven-man raft to the flotation collar into which the astronauts, after donning special "Biological Isolation Garments," exited from the Command Module. After further decontamination, the astronauts were flown by Navy Helicopter to the HORNET.

This collar attached to the "egress trainer" command module is the actual unit deployed during the recovery of Apollo 11. It was transferred from NASA to the Smithsonian in 1977.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center.

Country of Origin

United States of America


Overall: Rubber, stainless steel snaps, nylon webbing, rubber covered textile, steel cables, nylon rope


Deflated: 2ft 4in. width x 36ft length (71.12 x 1097.28cm)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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


EQUIPMENT-Mission Support