Apollo to the Moon

Health & Hygiene

Maintaining Health

Shorter Missions

During the Mercury program, which sent humans into space for a short period of time in preparation for the Apollo lunar missions, most of the equipment carried was standard military issue. The Apollo kits differed considerably because most of its items were designed and built specifically for use by astronauts.

These items were carried aboard the one-man Mercury missions by Alan B. Shepard on the flight of Freedom 7 in May 1961 and John H. Glenn Jr. on the flight of Friendship 7 in February 1962.


Freedom 7 Dial Soap
Freedom 7 Dial Soap
This bar of soap was carried aboard the Freedom 7 flight on May 5, 1961.
Friendship 7 Bio Sensors
Friendship 7 Bio Sensors
These Bio Sensors, carried by astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. in 1962, monitored the physiological functions of the astronaut during the flight.
Friendship 7 Blood Pressure Sensor
Friendship 7 Blood Pressure Sensor
John Glenn used this blood pressure sensor to monitor his heart rate and blood pressure during his Mercury flight in 1962.

Lunar Missions


In order to maintain health like they would on Earth—but in a very limited space—Apollo astronauts needed to have special equipment.

All of these items, carried on Apollo 11 in July 1969, allowed the astronauts to exercise, maintain personal hygiene, and monitor their health during the flight.

Apollo Inflight Exerciser
Apollo Inflight Exerciser
On the Apollo 11 flight, this equipment allowed the astronauts to exercise within the limited confines of an Apollo spacecraft.
Apollo Oral Hygiene Kit
Apollo Oral Hygiene Kit
The oral hygiene kits carried on Apollo 11 contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a spool of dental floss for the astronauts to use while aboard the spacecraft.
Apollo Razor and Shaving Cream
Apollo Razor and Shaving Cream
This Razor and Shaving Cream was used by the Apollo 11 crew members during the flight.
Apollo Astronaut Collins Toothbrush
Apollo Astronaut Collins Toothbrush
Toothbrush used during the flight of Apollo 11 by astronaut Michael Collins.
Apollo Personal Radiation Dosimeter
Apollo Personal Radiation Dosimeter
Each astronaut possessed a personal radiation dosimeter to monitor the cumulative radiation dose received during the mission. The two shown here were used on the flight of Apollo 11.
Apollo Biomedical Harness
Apollo Biomedical Harness
This harness, carried on the flight of Apollo 11 in July 1969, contains a set of sensors that monitor an astronaut's heart and respiratory rate.
Apollo Radiation Meter
Apollo Radiation Meter
This device allowed the Apollo 11 astronauts to determine the radiation in the crew compartment. It was fully portable, self-contained, and provided a direct reading of radiation dose rates. In the event of a radiation emergency (such as a solar flare) it could be used to find a habitable, low-dose region within the spacecraft.

Disposing of Waste

Shorter Missions


Waste Containment Bag: Friendship 7
Mercury Waste Containment Bag
This urine accumulator bag, made of latex rubber, was part of the personal hygiene equipment issued to astronaut John Glenn on his Friendship 7 flight in February 1962. Though it was flown on this mission, it was never used because the flight lasted less than 5 hours.

Lunar Missions


Apollo Urine Collection and Transfer
Apollo Urine Collection and Transfer
Liquid waste (urine) was collected by the urine collection device, worn under clothing, that was kept sanitary by using roll-on cuffs. The urine was then transferred to a tank through the rubber urine transfer tube.
Apollo Urine Collection Bag
Apollo Urine Collection Bag
This bag was meant for disposal and storage of used components of the urine collection device on Apollo missions.
Apollo Fecal Collection Bag
Apollo Fecal Collection Bag
Fecal matter was sealed in a Fecal Bag with a liquid germicide and sealed again in an outer bag. This solid waste was then placed into a Sanitation Box built into the spacecraft.