Description

    The patches from the first flight test of the Apollo Portable Life Support System.

    Apollo 9 Flown PLSS Patch Set (Three) Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart, Each Signed and Certified. The three actual patches roughly cut from Schweickart's PLSS, used on his March 6, 1969, EVA, as follows.
    (1) American Flag. A 7" x 4.5" U.S. flag patch sewn onto a slightly larger, irregularly cut swatch, both Beta cloth. Schweickart has signed on the verso: "Flown on Apollo 9- Cut/ From my PLSS-/ Rusty/ Schweickart". This would have been really located on the OPS (Oxygen Purge System) which was mounted on top of the PLSS backpack, just behind the helmet. Generally excellent condition with just some minor fading to the red stripes.
    (2) NASA "Meatball" Logo. A 3.75" square patch sewn to a swatch, both Beta cloth. This patch was located at top center of the backpack. Schweickart has signed on the verso: "Flown on Apollo 9/ Cut From my PLSS/ Rusty/ Schweickart". When removed from the PLSS, it was cut closely and it has partially unraveled. Also, there is one tiny snag in the cloth, otherwise excellent.
    (3) Name Tag. A 4.25" x 1" "R. SCHWEICKART" name patch sewn on to a slightly larger swatch, both Beta cloth. This was just below the NASA insignia. Schweickart has signed on the verso: "Flown on Apollo 9/ Cut From my PLSS/ Rusty Schweickart". Excellent condition.

    The PLSS is the backpack of the spacesuit, providing essentially the same functions of the spacecraft life support system in a smaller, wearable package. It was designed and manufactured for use in the Apollo program by the Hamilton Standard (now Hamilton Sundstrand) company. The PLSS was used in space on Apollo 9 for the very first time when Schweickart exited the Lunar Module Spider untethered. This was the first time an astronaut had exited a U.S. spacecraft using a self-contained life support system. Also, this was the first (and only time) the PLSS was tested in space before an actual lunar landing. Truly an historic group of patches, worthy of inclusion in the finest collections.

    Included with this lot is a glossy color 8" x 10" photo (NASA image AS09-19-2983) of Schweickart during his EVA. He is facing the camera so only part of the PLSS and OPS is visible. The image was taken from the Command Module Gumdrop.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    30th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
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