For Sale: Apollo Command Module LiOH Canister

See photos below:

  • Carbon dioxide absorber element from the Apollo Command Module.
  • Contains lithium hydroxide to absorb the carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts in the spacecraft, and charcoal to filter odors from the air.
  • Two elements of this type were used in parallel in the Apollo Environmental Control System. They were changed daily.

Price: SOLD

  • Identical to flight filter elements. About 30 canisters were loaded per mission.
  • This type of element (-0051) was replaced quickly with -0061, identical except that a sample of the LiOH was taken and packaged before assembly.
  • Dated "APR 7 '69". Measures 7 1/8" x 7 1/8" x 5 1/4" and weighs about 8 pounds.
  • A green/aluminum Airesearch label on the side reads: "ABSORBER ELEMENT CO2, Part 813540-2-1, Serial 29-403, Order NAS-9-150, NASA 00400 0029403, Ref Spec ME901-0218-0051."
  • Aluminum housing has oxidation spots, thought to be from moisture from Florida storage years ago.
  • Includes pouch with sample of the LiOH (even though this is a -0051 element), and a moisture indicator strip, which had been enclosed in the canister’s plastic bag (which was damaged with several cuts).
  • This item came from the Charles Bell estate. Bell was a NASA employee at the Kennedy Space Center and a lifelong collector of space artifacts.

During the Apollo 13 mission the astronauts were stranded in the Lunar Module for much of the mission. Using instructions from the ground they improvised a way to adapt the Command Module carbon dioxide absorbers for use in the Lunar Module. Otherwise the increased amount of carbon dioxide in the cabin air from the astronauts own breathing would have killed them.

Photo below shows a Command Module carbon dioxide absorber element placed in the Apollo 13 Lunar Module "Aquarius" with the improvised adapter, made by the Apollo 13 astronauts. (NASA photo)

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