Worn on the lunar surface for nearly eight hours in 1969, it still bears traces of lunar dustApollo 12 Lunar Module Flown and Surface-Used PLSS Strap Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean, Certified and Signed. A Beta cloth strap of 3.25" x 16.75" overall, with metal clasp attached. Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean used this strap on the lunar surface during Extra Vehicular Activities totaling seven hours and forty-five minutes while exploring the Ocean of Storms during the Apollo 12 mission, November 19-20, 1969. Captain Bean has written directly on the strap in black felt tip: "My Left/ PLSS/ Waist Strap/ that I wore/ on the/ Lunar Surface/ during my/ 2 moonwalks/ (EVAs)/ on Apollo 12/ November 1969/ Alan Bean/ Apollo 12 LMP". Note that the gray spots and streaks on the strap are actually embedded moon dust. An amazing item suitable for the most advanced collections. Very fine. Note: Captain Bean has come to the conclusion that this was his PLSS waist strap, not his shoulder strap as originally certified and has modified his certification on the item to match that information. Images of both can be seen below.
The PLSS is what a moon-walking astronaut would wear on his back to provide the functions of the spacecraft life support system in a smaller, self-contained package. These include regulating suit pressure, providing breathable oxygen, removing carbon dioxide, humidity, odors, and contaminants from breathing oxygen, cooling and recirculating oxygen and water, sensing and reporting suit parameters, and providing communications for the suit occupant. It must be mentioned that pieces of equipment actually used out on the surface of the moon are incredibly rare and supremely desirable. This strap literally helped keep Bean alive by holding up his life support system during the two lunar EVAs.
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