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Sampling Device, Soil Contact,Training, 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:

Contact Soil Sampling Devices (2) were flown on Apollo 16 only. Their purpose was to collect special samples of the uppermost layers of lunar regolith. One device had a sampling pad covered with beta cloth and the other had a velvet-covered pad. To sample regolith undisturbed by the descent engine on the lunar lander or dirt scattered by human activities, the astronaut cautiously approached a large boulder far away from the lander. The sampler was carefully extended down to the protected surface on the farside of the boulder using the long handle. This particular unit was not actually flown on the mission.

It was transferred from NASA to the Smithsonian in 1974.

Collection Item Long Description:


Contact Soil Sampling Device, Apollo

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


  • Aluminum - box and pad support, Silicon rubber - seal
  • Adhesives, Beta Cloth and White Nylon Velvet


3-D: 16 × 21 × 70.5cm (6 5/16 × 8 1/4 × 27 3/4 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number