Lunar Tether Award
Apollo 12 Lunar Module Flown Waist Tether (EVA) with Snaphooks
on Presentation Plaque from the Crew to Astronaut/ CapCom Dr.
Edward Gibson and Directly from His Personal Collection, with
Signed LOAs from Gibson and Mission LMP Alan Bean. A 32" x 1"
brown strap with a large snaphook (7.5" x 2.5") marked "L" on one
end and a smaller snaphook (5" x 1.75") on the other. It is
handsomely mounted to a 10.5" x 9" x 0.75" wooden plaque bearing an
engraved plate that reads: "Presented to Dr. Edward G. Gibson by
the Crew of Apollo XII. This tether was flown to the Ocean of
Storms, Moon, November 1969, and is qualified to extract astronauts
from sticky situations." (See COA text below for explanation of the
humorous reference to a "sticky situation." Also, image on our
"Flown to the Ocean of Storms... and is qualified to extract astronauts from sticky situations"
It is listed in the "Apollo 12 CM/LM As-Flown Stowage List" dated November 18, 1969, List B, on page 44, Item No. 1020.6, "Tether, EVA Waist, SEB33100192-301, stowed in the LHMS". The total assembly Part Number is SEB 33100192-301, Serial Number 1017 (tag on strap). The large hook (L) has Part Numbers SDB 33100223-301/ SEB 33100218-302/ and SEB 33100221-303, Serial Number 1054. The small hook is Part Number SEB 23100200-303, Serial Number 1046.
These were intended primarily for use during an EVA transfer to the CM if necessary after rendezvous. The spacesuits were equipped with a metal hook at the left waist for that purpose. They were also used on the lunar surface for various duties including hoisting equipment up from the lunar surface to the LM "porch." It is documented that Neil Armstrong made use of one during the rest period to suspend his legs while he lay on the ascent engine cover. There was an identical piece recently found in the contents of the Neil Armstrong "Purse"; it is currently located in the collection of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. We are not aware of another of these ever having been offered at public auction. An extremely rare opportunity for the sophisticated collector. Very fine.
Included with this lot is a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Gibson reading, in part: "This Lunar Tether Award has been in my possession since I received it shortly after the conclusion of the Apollo XII mission in November 1969. Pete Conrad and Alan Bean worked with this tether on the Moon during their Apollo XII mission. The Award reads: 'Presented to Dr. Edward G. Gibson by the Crew of Apollo XII. This tether was flown to the Ocean of Storms, Moon, November 1969, and is qualified to extract astronauts from sticky situations.' 'Sticky situations' refers to my reduction of a Bell 47 helicopter to only its name plate during an 'unusual landing' in a sticky mud flat north of Houston, Texas in the fall of 1969..."
Also included with this lot is a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Alan Bean reading, in part: "At our Apollo XII 'Pin Party' this tether was awarded to Dr. Edward G. Gibson, our CapCom while we explored the Moon during our two spacewalks. Pete Conrad and I returned this tether from the moon in our Lunar Module Intrepid Ascent Stage then to Earth in our Command Module. [Handwritten:] The best Capcom by far in the Apollo Program. Pete and I were fortunate to listen to you as we worked on the moon..."
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