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  Apollo 11 LM-5 insulation returned to Earth

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Author Topic:   Apollo 11 LM-5 insulation returned to Earth
Guswastheman
Member

Posts: 81
From: Gresham, OR
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 04-02-2019 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Guswastheman   Click Here to Email Guswastheman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I came across two small samples of Apollo lunar module protective covering that was sold during a 1997 Superior Galleries space auction.

The auction posting, as shown in photos, was flown and returned to Grumman for testing. This alone is interesting since I don't know of any LM coverings removed and returned to earth, not part of an astronauts private collection, however it makes since that NASA and/or Grumman would want to get as much data as possible from each mission.

The way I understand these small samples is that certain sections of LM were selected to have covering removed and returned. What makes this potentially even better is that they are shown to be from Apollo 11, LM-5.

These samples, along with hand written note are both sealed in clear plastic and then attached to the matting. I don't recognize the signature, which may be a very important aspect of the validity. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Front side of both items:

Back side of both items:

Lot 421 auction catalog description:

Lot 474 auction catalog description:

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2755
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 04-02-2019 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most interesting, as I have always wondered if any Apollo moonwalkers did in fact detach some LM-Kapton sections after their lunar landing and had them returned to Earth.

I have never heard of any LM-Kapton that had been returned, for any purposes, but it would make some sense in having the insulation thermal tape segments returned for post-flight analysis and testing, though.

As for the samples posted here, I just don't know, as I would need iron-clad provenance with absolute solid background history and certification.

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4302
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-02-2019 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Asking the crew to risk exposure to corrosive hydrazine contamination on their A7L suits during EVA (and bringing it back into the cabin)?

Just when did this occur (anything corroborating collection activity on the lunar surface checklists or transcripts?)

Put me in the doubter column.

bklyn55
Member

Posts: 335
From: Milford, CT
Registered: Dec 2014

posted 04-02-2019 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bklyn55   Click Here to Email bklyn55     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Havekotte:
I have never heard of any LM-Kapton that had been returned, for any purposes...
How about the pieces from the Apollo 9 LM returned by Schweickart and used in the lucites produced by ASF?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41355
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-02-2019 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
...anything corroborating collection activity on the lunar surface checklists or transcripts?
I cannot find a mention in the transcript of Armstrong or Aldrin collecting insulation samples from the lunar module (though there is mention of Kapton being photographed in regards to Armstrong surveying the condition of Eagle after the landing).

Neither Armstrong's or Aldrin's gauntlet checklists have Kapton sampling as an action item, but that is not necessarily conclusive as the contingency sample and flag deployment are omitted from those lists as well.

Guswastheman
Member

Posts: 81
From: Gresham, OR
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 04-02-2019 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Guswastheman   Click Here to Email Guswastheman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone have info on whose signature it is?

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2755
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 04-02-2019 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bklyn55:
How about the pieces from the Apollo 9 LM...
Yes, indeed, there was LM-3 Kapton returned by LMP Schweickart for the ASF's flown artifact acrylic series. At the time, I was in the ASF offices and was able to examine first-hand the Kapton swatches that had been mailed in by Schweickart.

But I was mainly focused on lunar module return flights from the moon and not an Earth orbital mission as Apollo 9 was. But nevertheless, you are correct,
some of LM-3's exterior Kapton from the forward hatch area was detached by the LMP during his EVA and returned back to Earth.

All times are CT (US)

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