Collection of 25 ruby bearings made for the Apollo program. Rubies are housed in a plastic screw-top vial with a Corning label affixed to the side, with “Apollo Bearing Test,” written on the label in an unknown hand. After the fire onboard Apollo 1, NASA engineers were instructed that nothing could be made from flammable materials from then on. This included all metal on metal mechanical pieces that used oil- based lubricants. Engineers were able to develop ruby ball bearings because of their hardness and durability, and they were used on the subsequent Apollo missions. RR Auction COA.
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