Featured Artifact: Moon Rock Box

The San Diego Air and Space Museum has several artifacts that traveled in Space, and some that actually went to the moon! One of the most interesting artifacts in the Museum’s collection is the Apollo 11 Rock Box. This box was designed specifically for collecting rocks from the moon, because that was such an important part of the Apollo program. In fact, gathering samples from the moon’s surface was so important to NASA that Neil Armstrong’s instructions were to do so as soon as he stepped onto the moon’s surface. He was to put rock samples into a pocket in his spacesuit so that he and Buzz Aldrin would have something to bring back to earth in case they had to leave suddenly. It is no surprise, then, that the box designed to hold their moon rocks, dust, and core samples was one of the most important pieces of equipment they brought to the moon. The rock box -- technically known as the Apollo Lunar Sample Return Container (ALSRC) – which is on display in the Museum, is the very one brought to the moon on the Lunar Module of Apollo 11. After returning to earth, the box was first displayed at the National Air and Space Museum, and then later put on loan to the San Diego Air & Space Museum, where it is displayed today. Learn more about the box in this week’s artifact spotlight! Learn more about the box in this week’s artifact spotlight!

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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