By "extraneous mass" I am referring to any mass which had not as its primary purpose onboard or attached to the launch vehicle to contribute to the technical or scientific goals of each mission.

For example, the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle carried by Apollo 15, 16 and 17 had as its primary purpose onboard to further the scientific goals of each of those missions. Reserve and abort propellant had as its purpose to help ensure the ability of the crew to safely carry out the mission. And so on. These do not count as "extraneous" for the purposes of this question, regardless of anyone being able to argue whether they in the end were essential for each respective mission.

On the other hand, Apollo 13 did carry a regular tape recorder and presumably a set of tapes of music. While the Apollo Data Storage Equipment could be said to further the technical and scientific goals of the mission, the same cannot be said for the tape recorder used by the crew to play music in the spacecraft cabin, so this small tape recorder counts as "extraneous" (even though I can easily imagine it being a significant morale booster after that cryo tank stir gone awry).

Given that definition, my question is simply: how much such extraneous mass did each of the Apollo missions carry?

For bonus points, for each mission, what were the extraneous items carried?


1 Answer 1


The link given by Anthony X lists the weight of personal items carried on each mission. Their contents were considered private so their manifests haven't been published. So this is the best information we have available. Some astronauts have auctioned some or all of the contents of their PPKs, good luck tracking that information down.

  • Apollo 11: 5 kits, 2.5 lbs.
  • Apollo 12: 9 kits, 4.5 lbs.
  • Apollo 13: 15 kits, 7.5 lbs.
  • Apollo 14: 18 kits, 9 lbs.
  • Apollo 15: 6 kits, 0.2 lbs? (information on weight was unclear)
  • Apollo 16: 13 kits, 1.3 lbs? (information on weight was unclear)
  • Apollo 17: 3 kits, 1.5 lbs.

On at least one occasion, astronauts smuggled items on board.

In addition, each mission also carried a number of flags. On Apollo 17, this was manifested as the Official Flight Kit, weight 13.5 lbs. On earlier missions, these are not manifested.


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