The scientific tourist #153 — an ALSRC

This is an ALSRC (Apollo Lunar Sample Return Container) at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.:


This particular ALSRC was used for pre-flight ground training, but it’s essentially the same thing as what flew on the Apollo missions to the moon.

From the Smithsonian web site:

The Apollo Lunar Sample Return Container (ALSRC) was an aluminum box with a triple seal manufactured by the Nuclear Division of Union Carbide. It was used on Apollo lunar landing missions to preserve a lunar-like vacuum around the samples and protect them from the shock environment of the return flight to earth. An aluminum mesh liner helped absorb impacts. Prior to flight, each box was loaded with sample container bags and other sample containment devices. The “rock box” was then closed under vacuum so that it would not contain pressure greater than the lunar ambient pressure. On the moon, while samples were being loaded, the seals were protected by a Teflon film and a cloth cover which were removed just prior to closing the box. Two ALSRC’s were used on each mission.

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