Author Topic: NASA Apollo Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) Explosive Package  (Read 732 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Just got our hands on an inert Apollo Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) Explosive Package.  One of my employees grandfather was a NASA Director of Payload Safety employee.   Apparently he tested these types of things.  She found this laying around the house, and brought it up to show us.  Not really sure what to do with it.   

Thinking about sending it to Dave for a teardown review, as I am in no way worthy or Smart enough to do it myself. This thing has all sorts of old electronic technoloy. Thermal batteries, Bulova watch components, RF, etc.  Would be amazing to see Dave make this thing work.   

Not sure if I posted in the correct area of the forum.  I don't post much here. I am more of an EEVBLOG YouTube viewer, than a forum poster.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 02:19:38 pm by bflores »
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Re: Apollo Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) Explosive Package
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 01:46:28 pm »
Pictures 2
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Re: Apollo Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) Explosive Package
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 01:47:19 pm »
Pictures 3
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Re: Apollo Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) Explosive Package
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 01:48:48 pm »
Pictures 4
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Re: Apollo Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) Explosive Package
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 01:50:02 pm »
Pictures 5
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
 

Offline amyk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6616
That is worth far more than a teardown item... and unless you know for sure it doesn't contain any explosives anymore, I'd be very cautious with it --- the details here suggest that it's essentially a time bomb:

https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/experiment/display.action?id=1972-096C-06
 

Online blueskull

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 12849
  • Country: cn
  • Power Electronics Guy
<snip>Thermal batteries</snip>

You want to ship that on a plane?
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
LOL. It's safe guys.  As stated in the first post, it's "inert". No explosive material included.   That would be pretty jacked up, to send a live explosive device for testing to a NASA inspector or to Dave Jones. I love Dave's videos too much to do that to him. LOL.

But you do have a good point, about air shipping.  Probably not a wise thing to declare it's a NASA Explosive Package module, on the custom forms.   ;D
 

Online blueskull

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 12849
  • Country: cn
  • Power Electronics Guy
Not having explosives doesn't mean not having a real battery.

Thermal battery, if went wrong, is a small incendiary bomb on its own.
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Is a thermal battery unsafe?  To dangerous for inspection and testing? Game Over?  Maybe we can donate it Space Center Houston, if so. 

There is no explosive payload, in the bottom canister. Its filled with a pink styrofoam and labeled "inert".  I'll post a picture when I get back to the office.
 


Offline Stray Electron

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 822
Is a thermal battery unsafe?  To dangerous for inspection and testing? Game Over?  Maybe we can donate it Space Center Houston, if so. 

There is no explosive payload, in the bottom canister. Its filled with a pink styrofoam and labeled "inert".  I'll post a picture when I get back to the office.


  First, I would say that if you ship that via air and TSA or a Customs inspector finds it, you're going to LOSE IT even if it is marked inert.  Period, end of story.

  Second, yes thermal batteries are very dangerous. They get red hot during operation and it's possible for them to leak molten electrolyte.  They can also deliver high currents so any possible short on the output could be a real problem.  They're definitely not something that I would ship by air.

  Other museums that you might consider donating it to are the Cosmosphere in Kansas https://cosmo.org/ or one of the museums at Kennedy Space Center. IMO the Cosmosphere does the best job of displaying space items to the general public.  The NASA museums have so much hardware that comparative little of it gets put out on public display. 
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 04:27:51 pm by Stray Electron »
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Inert bottom pan section, where the explosive package would normally be.
 

Offline chris_leyson

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1348
  • Country: wales
What an amazing find and the safety report made for a very interesting read. I wouldn't say it was inert because the thermal battery and the end detonating cartridge, EDC, are still in place, the end detonating cartridge being explosive. Figure 3.1.4-1 on page 8 of the safety report labeled the EDC as 'End Denotating Cartridge' which made me smile, but it's still a denotator and therefore not inert.
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Thanks for all your inputs guys.  Who knew a 50 year old battery and detonator would be so scary..    :scared:

I am glad I did not tinker with it myself (other then opening the casing for photos).  I will close it back up for now.

I know the Director of Exhibits at Space Center Houston.  I will give him a call.. and see what his thoughts are on it.  Apollo 50th is coming in July 2019.  Maybe they could do something with it for the month of July, at a minimum.  (assuming my employee, wants to release or loan it to them). 

Still think it would have been cool to see Dave, make it work, and have it go through all 3 mechanical stages (without any booms or loss of fingers). Meh... was worth a try..
 

Offline gslick

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 314
  • Country: us
Still think it would have been cool to see Dave, make it work, and have it go through all 3 mechanical stages (without any booms or loss of fingers). Meh... was worth a try..

If you wanted to see it work again you would be much better off sending it to CuriousMarc. He can actually make stuff work again.

For example:
Apollo AGC Part 9: Unboxing my Apollo IRIG Gyroscope
 

Offline amyk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6616
I wouldn't say it was inert because the thermal battery and the end detonating cartridge, EDC, are still in place, the end detonating cartridge being explosive. Figure 3.1.4-1 on page 8 of the safety report labeled the EDC as 'End Denotating Cartridge' which made me smile, but it's still a denotator and therefore not inert.
Looking at this picture: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/vintage-computing/apollo-lunar-seismic-profiling-experiment-(lspe)-explosive-package/?action=dlattach;attach=741435;image you can see, faintly, the words "INERT" printed on the bottom of the hex nut, so at least that part should be safe; not sure about the thermal battery though. Also agree with the others here about not shipping it --- via any means than personally carrying it, I'd say.
 

Offline bflores

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
I wouldn't say it was inert because the thermal battery and the end detonating cartridge, EDC, are still in place, the end detonating cartridge being explosive. Figure 3.1.4-1 on page 8 of the safety report labeled the EDC as 'End Denotating Cartridge' which made me smile, but it's still a denotator and therefore not inert.
Looking at this picture: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/vintage-computing/apollo-lunar-seismic-profiling-experiment-(lspe)-explosive-package/?action=dlattach;attach=741435;image you can see, faintly, the words "INERT" printed on the bottom of the hex nut, so at least that part should be safe; not sure about the thermal battery though. Also agree with the others here about not shipping it --- via any means than personally carrying it, I'd say.

Ha!  I totally missed that.  Good eye Amy! 

I need to try to see if I can find videos on Thermal Batteries.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf