SOILED WITH LUNAR DUST—BEAN'S PORTABLE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM STRAP USED ON TWO MOONWALKS
Lot 120
SOILED WITH LUNAR DUST—BEAN'S PORTABLE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM STRAP
USED ON TWO MOONWALKS
US$ 60,000 - 90,000
£ 43,000 - 64,000

The Space History Sale

21 Apr 2015, 10:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
SOILED WITH LUNAR DUST—BEAN'S PORTABLE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM STRAP USED ON TWO MOONWALKS
SOILED WITH LUNAR DUST—BEAN'S PORTABLE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM STRAP
USED ON TWO MOONWALKS
FLOWN Apollo 12 Portable Life Support System Right Side Waist Strap, Beta cloth, 3.25 x 16.75 inches. At head of main strap is a 2 x 1 inch beta cloth patch marked in pen with "A.B.-R" [Alan Bean Right]. Brown webbed nylon strap, one end looped around beta cloth via 3 x 3.25 inch white webbed nylon strap sewn to beta cloth, middle portion of brown web nylon strap 9.75 x .75 inch held down with secondary 9.75 x .75 inch white webbed nylon strap affixed to beta cloth with snap button, strap looped through ratchet buckle marked with "S/N 45" (marked with additional part numbers obscured by strap). Affixed to terminal end of brown nylon strap are one beta cloth square with female half of snap button, the end of strap looped through metal hook with part number "SV723617-2 S/N 134," as well as additional part numbers which are obscured by brown nylon webbing strap. Ratchet buckle with protective beta cloth cover, cover attaching to beta cloth strap with snap button. Running through interior of beta cloth strap is a secondary brown web nylon strap, middle of strap looped around bar end of metal ratchet buckle. One end of strap attached to metal hook the other end attached to metal clasp marked with "SV723617-1 S/N 281." With an Autograph Letter Signed by ALAN BEAN on his personal illustrated letterhead.

ALAN BEAN's handwritten provenance letter reads: "I hereby certify that this waist strap held the lower right end of my Portable Life Support System backpack to my suit, as I walked and ran and worked on the Ocean of Storms during my two moonwalks on the Apollo 12 mission. This was a critical component because it held the PLSS snug against my space suit so there would be no unnecessary strain on the hoses or suit hose connectors during my moonwalks."

Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean used this Apollo Portable Life Support System (PLSS) strap on the lunar surface during Extra Vehicular Activities while exploring the Ocean of Storms for seven hours and forty-five minutes during the Apollo 12 mission. It secured the life support system carried on his back including the regulating of suit pressure, oxygen, carbon dioxide removal, humidity, odor and other contaminants, cooling and recirculating water, sensing and reporting suit parameters, and providing communications for the suit's wearer. Rather than a looped strap which could easily slip off, each strap ended with a latching clip. Shoulder straps were connected to a ring assembly on the upper chest of the suit, whereas the lower straps, such as the present example, which were used for maintaining lateral stability of the PLSS, were connected to rings just above each hip. The length of each strap could be adjusted to ensure optimum fit.

Reference: See Apollo Stowage List Mission AS-507 CM 108/LM-6. Apollo 12. November 18, 1969. Houston, Texas: Manned Spacecraft Center, 1969. While the stowage list does not list part numbers for the individual pieces of the PLSS sub-components, the sub-components that are listed all have part numbers that begin with "SV72."
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