Case was commissioned by NASA to create a knife that met the specific criteria for the Apollo space missions after other military knives fell short. The resulting Case Astronaut Knife M-1 was designed to be lightweight, with a sharp cutting edge and sawteeth on the spine. It also needed to be able to pry items from the terrain. The handle was made of an ultra-lightweight synthetic material that could withstand impact without shattering and emitted no fumes, essential for maintaining air purity in the spacecraft.
The knife's primary purpose was to be stored in the Command Module of the ship, along with other essential gear, as part of a survival pack. These items would be used if the capsule landed off-course in the ocean upon re-entry to Earth. Between 1968 and 1972, the Case Astronaut Knife M-1 traveled to the Moon and back nine times as part of NASA's Apollo program.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing by Apollo 11, Case created a limited edition reproduction of the knife. This special edition featured a smooth white synthetic handle and an 11-3/4" taper ground, high carbon stainless steel machete blade, paying homage to mankind's historic first steps on the Moon.