A rare Apollo stowage bag, flown to the lunar surfaceApollo 12 Lunar Module Flown Beta Cloth Temporary Stowage Bag ("Purse") Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean, Certified and Signed. A uniquely-designed Beta cloth storage bag that was used in the lunar module. It measures approximately 13" x 10" when flat and has a depth of 9.5" when opened using the spring-loaded hinges. There are two pins at top for mounting in the LM and plastic ring attached to the back by a strap. This item was stowed during Earth launch in the lower pocket of the Interim Stowage Assembly. The NASA part and serial numbers are printed on the back in red: "LDW 340-53444-1/ S/N 0015". Bean has added a very detailed description in black felt tip just above: "This Stowage Bag,/ Serial Number 0015, was mounted/ in front of me at waist height and/ I used it to stow, temporarily, my/ check lists, food items, and other articles/ I used in our Lunar Module Intrepid/ during landing, our stay on the lunar surface,/ and our ascent from the moon./ Alan Bean/ Apollo 12 LMP". Very fine with only light soiling from use.
Bean spoke of this very item in a 1991 interview published online in NASA's Lunar Surface Journal: "The purse was a white, cloth bag that was up there under the computer DSKY that we just threw loose items in. In fact, I've still got it at home. It had a snap (closure) and you opened it up and threw stuff in and closed it. That's why we called it a purse. It was also shaped like a purse. It was made out of beta cloth." He added: "If we look at it from the ends, we see that the metal frame goes about half way down the center of the pyramid and is hinged, and the two U-shaped frame members are hinged. So what we have is an inverted-U-shaped frame sewn into the top of the Beta Cloth when viewed from the front; and we've got a similar inverted-U-shaped frame sewn in the back. These two meet about half way down the 'pyramid' on each end. They are spring-loaded so that either Pete or I could reach over and pull the purse open, throw something in, let it go and it would spring shut."
We note that this device is sometimes referred to as a "McDivitt Purse," likely because he requested its development after commanding Apollo 9, the first mission to fly with a lunar module.
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