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Penetrometer, Simple, 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:

For the Apollo 14 mission, a special instrument was provided that enabled the Lunar Module Pilot, Edgar Mitchell, to take rough measurements of the penetrability of the lunar surface. Referred to as the Apollo Simple Penetrometer (ASP), the shaft was provided with a conical tip and calibrated along its length with black and white markings. At three different locations, Mitchell, after attaching the shaft to an extension handle, first pressed it into the surface with one hand and called out how far it penetrated. He then pushed harder with two hands and reported the results.

This item was used for training and transferred to the Smithsonian in 1974.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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

Credit Line

Transferred from NASA, Johnson Space Center.


Overall: aluminum


3-D: 76 × 12.5 × 2.5cm (29 15/16 × 4 15/16 × 1 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number