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Apollo 11 relics among 10,000 mementos flying in Artemis I OFK

August 3, 2022

— A small lunar sample and a piece of the rocket that enabled its collection more than 50 years ago are set to launch on NASA's next mission back to the moon.

The Apollo 11 artifacts are part of the Artemis I Official Flight Kit (OFK). They are just two items in the OFK, which has been filled with almost 10,000 mementos flying for NASA, its partners and contractors aboard the upcoming moon mission.

A practice that dates back to Apollo 17 — the last time that NASA sent astronauts to the moon in December 1972 — the OFK is a package of a specified size and weight used to fly commemorative items and tokens of gratitude for those involved in the given mission, The OFK is a counterpart to the PPK, or personal preference kits, that are carried by the astronauts with small items for their family and friends.

Artemis I is flying without a crew, but the OFK still represent an important team. The mission is the first integrated test of NASA's Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, a precursor to flying astronauts on future missions to the moon. It has and will take thousands of people working on the ground to make the flight a success. More than a month long, Artemis I will travel farther into space than any previous human-rated mission and enter a distant retrograde orbit before returning to Earth.

From the moon, to the moon

"Neil Armstrong brought some very small pieces of the Wright Flyer to the moon aboard Apollo 11 and we have those in the collection, so this is a tradition that we are participating in, of flying things in space, especially given the opportunity to make those connections between the history of lunar exploration and what's being done now," said Margaret Weitekamp, chair of the space history department at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, in an interview with collectSPACE.

While the Apollo 11 moon dust (a "lunar sample button") is flying on behalf of NASA's Office of Communications, the "Apollo 11 F-1 engine part" is on loan from the Smithsonian.

"When we say that we're flying a part of the F-1 engine, it's really a screw, or bolt recovered from the Apollo 11 F-1 engine," said Weitekamp. "'Engine part' from an F-1 makes it sound much, much larger than it is in reality, and by necessity, it had to be something small and very light and inert."

In 2013, a private expedition led by Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos found and raised several F-1 engines off the ocean floor. After being conserved, an engine identified as coming from the Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 was transferred by NASA to the National Air and Space Museum, where it is set to debut as part of a new exhibition in October. The nut, screw and washer are from that engine.

In addition to the F-1 parts, the museum is also flying a medallion commemorating the 1968 Apollo 8 first circumlunar flight and an Apollo 17 embroidered patch.

"We did a search through the collection to find things that we thought were the right mix of being really significant and would have their significance enhanced by inclusion on this flight, but were not things that were not also somewhat duplicated in the collection. We are not flying things that we think are completely unique and therefore are of great risk if put on something like a launch," Weitekamp said.

Patches and pins and a pen nib

The vast majority of the items in the Artemis I OFK are souvenir-type mementos intended for post-flight presentation to space program workers and VIPs. Of the more of than 9,900 items inside the kit, 2,790 are Artemis I mission patches alone.

There are also lapel pins, labels and lots of flags — the latter flying for the U.S., its individual states and territories, military branches and NASA programs, as well as the space agency's international partners.

There are items to create even more commemoratives after the mission is over. The Orion, SLS and Exploration Ground Systems programs are each flying bags of metal shavings that were made in the course of manufacturing their respective vehicles (the mobile launcher in the case of EGS).

Like the Apollo 11 pieces, though, the standout items in the OFK are those that connect the Artemis I mission to other aspects of humanity.

  • Four LEGO minifgures and a "Shaun the Sheep" doll represent educational outreach projects by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), respectively. Similarly, a pen nib from Charles Schulz's studio wrapped in a space-themed "Peanuts" comic strip are aboard, as is a Snoopy doll in a one-of-a-kind spacesuit (the latter is not part of the OFK, but rather is flying as the mission's zero-gravity indicator).

  • NASA is also taking 90 Girl Scouts space science merit badges that will be awarded to the winners of a "To the Moon and Back" essay contest.

  • There are five USB drives and 60 microchips containing the names, poems, images, drawings or videos submitted by students, educators, employees who worked on Artemis I and members of the public, as collected by NASA, ESA, DLR (German Aerospace Center) and ASI (Italian Space Agency).

  • The Israeli Space Agency, which is part of the international team flying two instrumented torsos to study radiation exposure during the Artemis I mission, is also among the organizations flying tree seeds, including NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Boeing.

  • Israel is also flying a mezuza (a small parchment contained in a decorative case and inscribed with specific Hebrew verses) and a pebble from the Dead Sea. ESA has packed a 3D-printed representation of the Greek goddess Artemis and a "Le Voyage Dans la Lun" ("A Trip to the Moon") by Georges Méliès postcard.

 


Thousands of Artemis I mission patches are among the mementos packed in the mission's Official Flight Kit (OFK). The emblems and many of the other items will be presented after the flight to program workers and those who made Artemis I a success. (NASA)




The bolt from one of the five Saturn V F-1 engines that launched Apollo 11 in July 1969 is included in the Official Flight Kit (OFK) flying on Artemis I. (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)




Microchips engraved with the names of the nearly 30,000 people who worked on Artemis I are part of the mission's Official Flight Kit. (NASA / University of Houston/Long Chang)


This is the Artemis I Official Flight Kit (OFK) manifest as provided by NASA and transcribed by collectSPACE from the original PDF.

Item   Quantity   Provider
 

USB drive (Fly Your Name in Space public campaign)

 

1

 

NASA HQ

 

Silver Snoopy pins

 

245

 

NASA JSC

 

Exploration Ground System (EGS) program pins

 

100

 

EGS program

 

Exploration Ground Systems logo patches

 

100

 

EGS program

 

Exploration Ground Systems program flags

 

150

 

EGS program

 

Exploration Ground Systems logo stamp

 

1

 

EGS program

 

Metal shavings from Mobile Launcher

 

1 bag

 

EGS program

 

Metal shavings from SLS rocket

 

1 bag

 

SLS program

 

Space Launch System pins

 

200

 

SLS program

 

Space Launch System program flags

 

500

 

SLS program

 

Artemis "Medallion" gold seal stickers for certificates

 

500

 

NASA HQ/ESD

 

Metal shavings from Orion crew module

 

1 bag

 

Orion program

 

Orion program patches

 

200

 

Orion program

 

Orion program pins

 

100

 

Orion program

 

Various NASA pins

 

4

 

Orion program

 

Artemis I mission pins

 

2,500

 

NASA HQ/ESD

 

Artemis I mission patches

 

2,775

 

NASA HQ/ESD

 

Snoopy Zero G Indicator (not in OFK)

 

 

NASA HQ

 

Patches and Name tag on Commander Moonikin Campos (not in OFK)

 

 

NASA HQ

 

Lunar sample button (Apollo 11)

 

1

 

NASA OCOM

 

Microchips with names of employees who worked on Artemis I

 

60

 

NASA HQ/ESD

 

U.S. Flags

 

250

 

NASA HQ/ESD

 

Artemis program embossed labels

 

50

 

NASA STMD

 

Artemis program rubber stamp

 

1

 

NASA STMD

 

GRAIL lapel pin

 

1

 

NASA SMD

 

Written quote by Dr. Maria Zuber

 

1

 

NASA SMD

 

NASA Authorization Act of 2010

 

4

 

NASA OLIA

 

U.S. Flags

 

50

 

NASA OLIA

 

Various U.S. state flags

 

38

 

NASA OLIA

 

International Partner country flags

 

20

 

NASA OIIR

 

JSC - Assorted Flags (US, States & Territories, NASA, UN, Military)

 

537

 

NASA JSC

 

GRC - Assorted Flags (US, Ohio)

 

20

 

NASA GRC

 

MSFC - Assorted Flags (US, NASA, Army, AL, LA)

 

35

 

NASA MSFC

 

SSC - Assorted Flags (US, NASA, MS)

 

20

 

NASA SSC

 

KSC - Assorted Flags (US, FL)

 

35

 

NASA KSC

 

ARC - California State flags (Ames)

 

20

 

NASA ARC

 

GSFC - Assorted Flags (MD, U.S.)

 

20

 

NASA GSFC

 

AFRC - Assorted Flags (US, Calif)

 

20

 

NASA AFRC

 

LARC - Assorted Flags (US, VA)

 

20

 

NASA LARC

 

JPL - Various Tree and Plant seeds

 

1 bag

 

Jet Propulsion Lab

 

Artemis 1 Mission Flags

 

130

 

NASA OSTEM

 

Girl Scouts Space Science badges

 

90

 

NASA OSTEM

 

Artemis program stickers

 

160

 

NASA OSTEM

 

USB drive (Digital essays from Artemis Essay contest)

 

1

 

NASA OSTEM

 

Sycamore Tree seeds

 

1

 

NASA OSTEM

 

USB drive (Video/written pledges from educators to talk about Artemis)

 

1

 

NASA OSTEM

 

Artemis program rubber stamp

 

1

 

Jacobs

 

Artemis program flags

 

98

 

Jacobs

 

U.S. Flags

 

92

 

Aerojet Rocketdyne

 

Apollo members in Orion facility photo

 

1

 

Lockheed Martin

 

Silver Orion lapel pins

 

25

 

Lockheed Martin

 

World Space Week lapel pin

 

1

 

Lockheed Martin

 

Various State flags

 

52

 

Lockheed Martin

 

U.S. flags

 

50

 

Lockheed Martin

 

U.S. flags

 

125

 

Boeing

 

Various Tree Seeds

 

1 bag

 

Boeing

 

Shaun the Sheep mascot

 

1

 

ESA

 

New ESA patch

 

5

 

ESA

 

USB drive (videos from European industry, staff and contractors working Orion)

 

1

 

ESA

 

3D-printed replica of the goddess Artemis

 

1

 

ESA

 

European country flags

 

10

 

ESA

 

Le Voyage Dans la Lun (A Trip to the Moon) by Georges Méliès Postcard

 

1

 

ESA

 

JAXA stickers

 

150

 

JAXA

 

JAXA logo patches

 

3

 

JAXA

 

EQUULEUS stickers

 

60

 

JAXA

 

OMOTENASHI stickers

 

60

 

JAXA

 

USB drive (Schools from Germany send videos of future Moon exploration)

 

1

 

DLR

 

Artemis I patches

 

15

 

DLR

 

Artemis program patches

 

15

 

DLR

 

USB drive (images, drawings, poems of space by citizens and students)

 

1

 

ASI

 

Italian Republic flags

 

20

 

ASI

 

Assorted Patches: - Italian Space Agency (ASI) - Argomoon - Exploration

 

90

 

ASI

 

Mezuza

 

1

 

ISA

 

Israel flag

 

2

 

ISA

 

Various Tree Seeds

 

1 bag

 

ISA

 

Dead sea pebble

 

1

 

ISA

 

ISA stickers

 

20

 

ISA

 

LEGO Mini-figures

 

4

 

LEGO

 

Wrapped pen nib & comic strip

 

1

 

Peanuts Worldwide

 

National Air and Space Museum – Apollo 11 F-1 Engine part (bolt, nut, washer)

 

1

 

NASM

 

National Air and Space Museum – Apollo 17 Patch

 

1

 

NASM

 

National Air and Space Museum – Apollo 8 Commemorative Medallion

 

1

 

NASM


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