It’s no secret that duct tape is an important tool to the NASA program. In fact, a roll goes up on every flight that leaves the launchpad. Good thing, too... Duct Tape has actually saved lives and equipment in space. These images and stories were gathered by The Duct Tape Guys from the pages of NASA's web site.
Duct Tape
+ Two
Pringles lids
= Nugget Containment Device

Former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski, M.D., left, and current astronaut George Zamka hold bits of Apollo 11 moon rock that Parazynski carried, on loan from NASA, to the top of Mt. Everest last spring. They also hold an Earth rock that he collected while on the summit. Specifically, Zamka holds the "Nugget Containment Device," two Pringles potato chip can lids sealed together with duct tape, which Parazynski used to secure the moon rock samples as he summited Everest on May 20, 2009.

Here we go again - more Duct Tape* fixes in space...

3/18/08 Space Station Gets Helping Hand (source Johnson Space Center, Houston)
Astronauts completed construction of the giant robot (Dextre) during an overnight spacewalk at the International Space Station. Dextre now has tools that any guy with a well-stocked tool bench would envy.

The 12-foot-tall robot received pan and tilt color cameras to serve as its eyes. It also got a pretty nifty tool holder assembly with an extension for socket wrenches, manipulators and an offset tool that will allow it to turn bolts that are too deeply set to be easily grasped.

Dextre is no plumber, which would have come in handy after a pipe under the floor of the Space Shuttle Endeavour's middeck sprung a slight leak.

Cmdr. Dominic Gorie's plumbing skills are being put to the test. To stop the leak, Gorie wrapped the pipe in towels held in place by duct tape.

7/11/06 Even in space, a little duct tape may work wonders. (source AP via

Astronaut Piers Sellers suggested using some multipurpose sticky material to fix a safety-jet backpack used during spacewalks after it almost came loose from him while he repaired the international space station.

"Right now, is there some kind of tape fix that you guys could think about that would be helpful?" Sellers asked Mission Control Tuesday morning, a day after the propulsive backpack started to come loose during his spacewalk with astronaut Mike Fossum.

Fossum had to tether the device to Sellers to keep it from flying away.

The jet backpack, nicknamed SAFER, is worn by every astronaut during a spacewalk. It allows an astronaut to propel himself or herself to safety in an emergency, for instance if a tether or foot restraint holding the astronaut in place breaks.

The two connecting latches of Sellers' backpack attachment, designed to be used if an astronaut floats free, loosened at different times, but he was never in danger of losing it, NASA officials said.

The spacewalkers hope they can use *
Kapton tape to hold the backpack latches in place when they make their next spacewalk on Wednesday. The tape is like duct tape but slippery and able to withstand both frigid cold and fiery hot temperatures.

"We're not called upon to get into any tight quarters, as far as we know yet, so I think with a little bit of tape, and the fact that we're doing it out in the open most of the time, means we're good to go," Sellers told The Associated Press via satellite Tuesday. complete article online at

DuPont™ Kapton® PST grade polyimide film is a crystalline film designed for the pressure sensitive tape industry. It withstands temperatures in excess of 500° for over one hour.

Duct Tape Aids Shuttle Mission (August 2, 2005)
SPACE CENTER, Houston - Employing the kind of NASA ingenuity seen during Apollo 13, an astronaut prepped for an emergency repair job Wednesday on Discovery's exterior with forceps, scissors and a hacksaw fashioned out of a blade and a little duct tape.
Stephen Robinson's mission was to remove two short pieces of filler material that were sticking out of the shuttle's belly. NASA feared the material could lead to a repeat of the 2003 Columbia tragedy during Discovery's re-entry next week.
He could simply pull the stiff fabric out with gloved hands. If a gentle tug did not work, he was to pull a little harder with forceps. And if that didn't work, he was supposed to use a hacksaw put together in orbit with a deliberately bent blade, plastic ties, Velcro and the handyman's favorite all-purpose fix-it: duct tape. (photo credit: NASA TV

Apollo 13 CO2 Filter Modification

If you’ve seen the movie, "Apollo 13" you noticed that duct tape was used in converting a CO2 filter to allow them to breath during their flight back to earth in their damaged vehicle. Further explanation follows the photos in an excerpt from Eric Jones’ Lunar Surface Journal.

(left photo) Deke Slayton (check jacket) shows the adapter devised to make use of square Command Module lithium hydroxide canisters to remove excess carbon dioxide from the Apollo 13 LM cabin. From left to right, members of Slayton's audience are Flight Director Milton L. Windler, Deputy Director/Flight Operations Howard W. Tindall, Director/Flight Operations Sigurd A Sjoberg, Deputy Director/Manned Spaceflight Center Christopher C. Kraft, and Director/Manned Spaceflight Center Robert R. Gilruth. (right photos) Jim Lovell (we think) making the repair/conversion in space. (all photos NASA)
(left photo) Jack Swigert holds some suit hoses used to connect the makeshift CO2 scubber, which is at his right elbow. Scan by Kipp Teague. (right photo) The "fix" is discussed at NASA Mission Control prior to having the astronauts implement the procedure in space.
"...In both spacecraft, under normal circumstances, the cabin air was fed continuously through environmental control equipment where, among other things, lithium hydroxide reacted with the carbon dioxide and trapped it. A single canister began losing its efficiency after about 40 person-hours of use and then had to be replaced. Unfortunately - and quite literally - the square CSM canisters wouldn't fit into the round holes of the LM unit; and, unless a way could be found to use the square ones, the carbon dioxide content of the cabin air would rise to poisonous levels long before the crew could get home. The advertised 60-person-hour combined lifetime of two LM canisters was, of course, a very conservative figure and, in fact, by allowing the carbon dioxide levels to rise above normal limits, they were able to keep them on line for 107 person-hours, or nearly a day and a half. And they had one other primary canister - 40 person hours design lifetime,80 person hours at the higher CO2 levels - that they were holding in reserve in case it took extra time to devise a way to use the CSM canisters.

There was, of course, a fix; and it came in the form of an ingenious combination of suit hoses, cardboard, plastic stowage bags, and CSM canisters - all held together with a liberal application of gray duct tape. As was usual whenever the Apollo team had to improvise, engineers and astronauts on the ground got busy devising ways around the problem and then checked out the new procedures. A day and a half after the Apollo 13 accident, the ground teams had designed and built a filtering device that worked to their satisfaction. They promptly radioed instructions to the crew, carefully leading them through about an hour's worth of steps. As Lovell wrote later: "the contraption wasn't very handsome, but it worked." And that was all that mattered." - Eric Jones, Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (used by permission)

Apollo 17 Lunar Dust Problem Fixed with Duct Tape

On the Moon, the long history of micrometeorite bombardment has blasted away at the rocky surface creating a layer of powdery lunar soil or regolith. This lunar regolith could be a scientific and industrial bonanza. But for the Apollo astronauts and their equipment, the pervasive, fine, gritty dust was definitely a problem. On the lunar surface in December 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan needed to repair one of their lunar rover's fenders in an effort to keep the "rooster tails" of dust away from themselves and their gear. This picture reveals the wheel and fender of their dust covered rover along with the ingenious application of spare maps, clamps, and a grey strip of "duct tape". (NASA Photo

Home Improvement On Space Station
By MARCIA DUNN / AP Aerospace Writer (Published Sunday, May 13, 2001 - edited for length)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Astronaut Bill Shepherd was stunned -- and frustrated -- when he moved into the international space station last fall and discovered the kitchen table would not be arriving any time soon.

Shepherd did what any self-respecting home mechanic would do. He built his own table, out of space station scraps. The home improvement project, however, turned into as stealth an operation as Shepherd had ever tackled as a Navy SEAL.

One month into their 4 1/2 -month mission, Shepherd and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev began building the table out of aluminum frames that had held solid-fuel oxygen generators, as well as struts and pieces of angled aluminum. The men drilled holes, bolted the pieces together, covered the top with duct tape and, after weeks of working on it a bit at a time, finally had a table on which to eat, cook and work.

"Once we got it put together and finished, it was kind of the social center of the station, " Shepherd said. " That' s important, too."

Duct Tape: NASA approved restraint device
NASA has a detailed set of written procedures for dealing with a suicidal or psychotic astronaut in space. The
documents say the astronaut's crewmates should bind his/her wrists and ankles with duct tape, tie him/her down with a bungee cord and inject him/her with tranquilizers as necessary. - based on an Associated Press report - 2/23/07

More evidence that duct tape goes up on every flight
This photo provided by NASA shows astronaut Barbara R. Morgan on the aft flight deck of the space shuttle Endeavor while docked with the international space station Sunday Aug. 12, 2007. Officials said they are more optimistic about the crew's safety following the discovery of foam that broke off and penetrated the shuttle. (NASA photo) We fully expect that a space walk with duct tape in hand will be used to fix the hole left from the broken foam.