Asbestos has occasionally been used in spacecraft and other space artifacts:

  • In the Apollo reaction control system.

  • In the igniter of the Apollo tower jettison motor.

  • Vinyl asbestos floor tiles in the Mobile Quarantine Facility, the trailer where early Apollo were isolated after returning from the moon.

  • Part of the fireproof coating Fluorel, used in Apollo as a conformal coating of wiring and circuit boards, a coating of the lunar EVA cuff cards, and to coat the interior of the MQF.

  • As thermal insulation in Soyuz modules.

  • In Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters (also here).

  • In Space Shuttle fuel cells (also here).

Has there been any removal or treatment of asbestos prior to putting space articles on museum display? Or is it just considered to be inaccessible and nothing is needed?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is the asbestos actually in a dangerous form? It's only a threat when it's been processed to tiny fibers and is free to get into the air. If you just hold a chunk of raw asbestos, it's perfectly harmless. $\endgroup$
    – Harabeck
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


Encapsulated and asbestos that is locked -in cement, mastic, vinyl, rubber, plastic, or similar materials pose no health risks.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Commented Feb 18 at 13:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While a good starting point this answer would be better being more specific about the situations where encapsulated asbestos is safe, and possibly the cases where it is not (eg where 50 year old rubber or plastics have started to disintegrate). Would also be good to check if the asbestos of the capsules was in fact still locked in post re-entry heating. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 19 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ A lot of asbestos /cement panels can still be seen in many places in the UK at least. They are not hazardous unless you drill into them. $\endgroup$
    – Slarty
    Commented Mar 19 at 13:49

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