COOPER'S 16 MM FILM STOWAGE BAG.
LETTER DESCRIBES HIS APOLLO TRAINING EXPERIENCES. Beta cloth film stowage bag, 8 x 5½ inches. With two large identification labels that read: "16 MM FILM, B8 LAUNCH & RETURN." A large closure snap button is located at the top center. With a Typed Letter Signed by GORDON COOPER.
GORDON COOPER'S signed provenance letter reads in part: "Enclosed with this letter is a Beta cloth storage bag used during Apollo training. It has two large ID labels which read: 16 MM FILM B8 LAUNCH & RETURN. The bag was designed to hold a single 16 mm Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) film magazine then snap closed using the large strap and button at the top center. The B8 labeling indicates that this bag would be stored in the Command Module's (CM) Lower Equipment Bay B8 storage location, both prior to launch and prior to return to earth. DAC's were used in both the CM and Lunar Module. They were even taken out onto the lunar surface.
I had trained extensively with various camera equipment during my Mercury and Gemini flights, and very much looked forward to using the diversity of cameras planned for Apollo. I was working on several different assignments during the 1967 to 1970 time frame. The major one was as Back-Up (BU) Commander for Apollo 10, in support of Tom Stafford and his crew. But I was also the point person for crew or flight related operations not only for Apollo but the Skylab flights planned for 1973.
After Apollo 10 I expected to move up to command the next flight in the rotation sequence that would be Apollo 13. I was called into Deke Slayton's office, then Director of Flight Crew Operations at MSC, with Al Shepard attending (Chief of the Astronaut Office) a bit after the Apollo 10 flight. I was told that I would get Apollo 13 alright, BUT as Back-Up Commander! I really could not believe what I was hearing that day. But looking back now years later, it seems clear now that several events shaped my loss of command for Apollo 13."
Cooper goes on to to discuss at length the back-up crews, Donn Eisele, the "cracks in the crew rotation system," and Alan Shepard's success in avoiding Apollo 13 and walking on the moon during Apollo 14.