Quick Fixes in Outer Space
2015 National Air and Space Museum (NASM) intern Max Campbell recently offered an article on the NASM Airspace Blog about mechanical repairs in outer space, focalizing upon a simplistic yet incredibly effective tool. In such a mysterious and dangerous place such as space, many would assume that astronauts would utilize complicated electronic components should any mechanical problems arise.
However in the events of Apollo missions 13 and 17, the common household item of gray duct tape quite literally saved the lives and missions of two astronautic crews. Duct tape was utilized by the astronauts of mission Apollo 13 to construct a makeshift ventilation system, which allowed that crew to return to Earth safely. This simple everyday item allowed the crew of the Apollo 17 mission to repair their Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV) that led to the completion of their mission. Evidence of the incredible usefulness of duct tape in space missions that occurred over forty years ago, can still be viewed by the public within The National Air and Space Museum. You can read Max’s full article about the incredible application of duct tape in outer space can be found here.