Shock Absorber, Surveyor

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

These are back-up aluminum honey-combed crushable shock absorbers that were attached to the three legs of the Surveyor spacecraft that went to the Moon in the 1960s. Although not flown to the Moon, they are identical to those on the five Surveyor soft-landing spacecraft that successfully reached the Moon during the period from May 30, 1966 to January 9, 1968. The overall objectives of the Surveyor program were to accomplish soft landings on the Moon, obtain data concerning temperature, chemical composition, and load-bearing characteristics of the lunar soil in support of the Apollo program, televise high quality photographs of the lunar surface, and perform operations on the lunar surface that would contribute new scientific knowledge about the Moon.

Hughes Aircraft Company donated these to the Museum in 1972.