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  Case Astronaut Knife M-1 (Apollo 50th)

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Author Topic:   Case Astronaut Knife M-1 (Apollo 50th)

Posts: 1108
From: Honolulu, HI
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 01-24-2019 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas, Case Knife Company announced a reissue of the Astronaut Knife M-1 used on the Gemini and Apollo missions. It will be available either as a stand-alone knife or with a collectible case (limited to 450).

The knife is not yet available on the Case website, but said they would be shipping in February 2019.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 40905
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2019 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Case release
Celebrating 50 Years Since Man's First Steps on the Moon

In the early 1960s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) commissioned W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company – one of the America's foremost manufacturers of premium knives – to develop a knife that would ultimately be stowed inside every manned U.S. spacecraft involved in the Gemini and Apollo mission series. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's Moon landing, which invited the world to witness man's first steps on the Moon, Case is proud to reveal the limited edition Astronaut Knife M-1 for 2019.

When other military knives did not meet NASA's criteria for the start of the Apollo program, the organization commissioned Case to create a knife to their exact specifications. The original Case Astronaut Knife M-1 was designed to be lightweight and featured a sharp cutting edge partnered with saw teeth on the back side. The blunt base of the knife's blade was capable of prying items from terrain. The handle was made of an ultra-lightweight synthetic which was found to withstand a hard impact without shattering. It also exuded no fumes, a feature that was critical to maintaining the purity of the air quality within the spacecraft.

The knife's most practical applications can be derived from its stowed location inside the ship's Command Module, where it resided with other essential gear as part of a survival pack. The items inside were to be used in the event the capsule splashed down off-course after re-entering Earth. In all, the Case Astronaut Knife M-1 traveled to the Moon and back nine times from 1968-1972 as part of NASA's Apollo program.

To celebrate man's very first steps on the Moon, Case has carefully crafted a reproduction featuring a 11.75 inch taper ground, high carbon stainless steel machete blade and a smooth white synthetic handle. The Case Astronaut Knife M-1 spans a total of 17 inches from base to blade tip and weighs 10.8 ounces. The knife is packaged in a two-piece box and features consecutive serialization on the blade. A special commemorative version will also be offered, with themed embellishing on the blade and a special wooden shadow box for display at home or in the office. An official certificate of authenticity and a Case Collectable medallion accompanies the commemorative.

The 50th anniversary Case Astronaut Knife M-1 will be available for purchase from Case Authorized Dealers and online at this spring.


Posts: 1108
From: Honolulu, HI
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 01-30-2019 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recall reading somewhere that the machetes actually used on the Apollo missions used an aluminum handle in order to avoid any outgassing whatsoever.


Posts: 1178
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 01-30-2019 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is the case. All of the Apollo-flown knives I've seen displayed around the country have an aluminum-looking metal handle.

While I think it would have been cool for Case to offer the metal handle for this edition, they have not for past editions, either. As far as I know, it's never been made clear if the company manufactured knives with this handle, or if NASA modified them in-house.

It would be an interesting question to pursue. There are records, many now online, of various items ordered from suppliers to NASA... watches, pens, other knives, etc. I wonder if Case has any records of the knives they provided to the space program.

That aside, this is a great commemorative product. I have the original 1966 model and it makes an impressive display. I'll definitely be in for one of these as well.

Larry McGlynn

Posts: 1179
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 01-30-2019 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have Case machetes from Gemini and Apollo. The Gemini machete has a plastic handle and a military green canvas scabbard with part and serial number on it. The Apollo machete has a metal handle and a metal scabbard. To save weight, the scabbard had holes stamped into it. The part and serial numbers are on the blade.

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