Description

    Used to purify drinking water on Apollo missions.

    Apollo 17 Flown Chlorine Ampoule Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Ron Evans. A white Teflon ampoule with the flexible inner bag intact, overall 3.25" long x 1.375" in diameter, but now in two parts. The top portion has the printed markings "CHLORINE/ FOI-6120347-21/ 06362 AAH6881" along with a small round sticker with a handwritten "LEAK". The bottom section has a length of 1" masking tape with a handwritten "H6881". Fine condition.

    Once daily, one of these ampoules was injected into the water supply, followed by a chemical buffer and an inhibitor, in order to disinfect and purify the crew's drinking water. A table in the NASA document, "SP-368 Biomedical Results of Apollo" titled "Mission Problem Summary/ Water Subsystem" mentions a problem of these ampoules leaking during Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17:
    "Problem Description- Chlorine and buffer ampules leaked when injected.
    Cause- Inner bag breakage due to bonding problems and pinching between wall and end plate.
    Mission Impact- Required additional crew time and cleanup."
    This present lot is an example of just such a mission problem. Please view this lot on our website for more technical information.

    Included with this lot is a signed Letter of Certification from Jan Evans (Mrs. Ron Evans) stating: "I certify that the Chlorine Ampule that accompanies this letter was flown to the moon aboard Apollo 17, December 1972. The Ampule was used to help decontaminate drinking water aboard the spacecraft. It is among the few items my husband Ron Evans, Apollo 17 CMP, retained from the flight and it has been with our family since that time."


    More Information:

    From the Apollo 17 technical crew debriefing:

    Evans

    ...I'd like to mention chlorination at this point.

    Cernan

    Without fail, almost every chlorination leaked. Sometimes large quantities of water, other times just small quantities of water.

    Evans

    Water or chlorine?

    Cernan

    A combination. Where it leaked appeared to be around the bag. It was the cylindrical chlorine dispenser that was continually wet. It was not where the dispenser fit into the needle or where the needle adaptor fit into the spacecraft. It was within the chlorine dispenser itself. Chlorination was a case of always cleaning your hands with chlorine because you always had it available down there within that dispenser. In some cases, you had a larger quantity of water that had to be wiped up with a tissue. That plagued us throughout the whole mission. It turned out not to be a serious problem because we learned how to handle it. That was one system anomaly that hadn't really been brought up.

    Evans

    In two cases, I'm almost positive, it did not puncture the ampule. The reason I believe that's correct is that, when you started to crank the outside of the cassette down to push the chlorine into the water system - it was very hard to turn. If you tried to force it, you could force it on down there, and I'm sure that's a good way to break an ampule on the thing. In two cases, we took the bayonet fitting loose again and put it back on there, and in both cases, then you'd start to squeeze the chlorine out of the ampule into the system, and it would turn easier.

    Cernan

    We got the chlorination done. We didn't miss any injections of chlorine, and we didn't miss any of the buffer samples. I guess we got the job done; it was just a little bit messy. The chlorine was evident because the CDR eventually peeled all the outer skin off his right hand. I'm convinced it was due to the chlorine, and had nothing to do with the EVA.



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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    8th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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