National Air & Space Museum Site Index
Apollo Artifacts Gallery


An Apollo 11 lunar sample return container.

The sign accompanying it reads

Lunar Sample Return Container

This sample return container, or "rock box," is one of two used by Apollo 11 astronauts to return 21.6 kilograms (47.7 pounds) of lunar material to the Earth following the first walk on the Moon, July 20, 1969. The containers are constructed of aluminum and stainless steel.

After an Apollo lunar module (LM) descended to the lunar surface, the astronauts took the sample return containers from a storage compartment in the descent stage. The containers were then filled with lunar material, sealed, and returned to the ascent stage of the LM.

The steel mesh pads in the boxes protected the lunar samples from damage during reentry and splashdown.

This item is Smithsonian collections ID #A19710814000.

Apollo Artifacts at National Air & Space Museum
Time picture taken Tue Jun 19 13:30:46 2007
Location picture taken Apollo to the Moon Gallery
National Air & Space Museum
Washington, DC
Prev Apollo Artifacts Gallery Next