The space suits and in-flight coveralls used during the Apollo missions were retained by NASA and so are not something a collector can hope to acquire. However, some parts of the pressure suit assembly were separate from the main suit and hence were treated in a different manner. The checklist and scissor pockets are the best-known example, as detailed below.
These pockets were made from the same fire resistant material - beta cloth - as the space suits themselves, and were held in place on the outside of the suit by straps fastened around the legs. On the left leg, the astronauts wore a single pocket designed to hold a checklist. On the right leg they wore a similar pocket with a second smaller pocket fastened alongside it to hold a pair of scissors.
Checklist pocket used by Mike Collins on Apollo 11
The part number for the checklist and scissors pocket generally refers to the combined item, with this identifier sometimes being marked on the strap joining the two pockets. The individual checklist pocket generally had the same part number as the one worn on its own, and the scissors pocket its own separate part number. e.g. Dick Gordon's Apollo 12 checklist and scissors pocket combination are referred to in the stowage list by part no. A7L-201049-03, but the checklist pocket itself is marked with part number A7L-201047-03 and the scissors pocket has the part number A7L-201048-03.
The last digits of the part number represent evolutive models of the same design, thus -01 was the earliest version of a particular item, later superceded by versions -02, -03 and so on.
The earliest versions of the checklist pockets had flaps that were fastened by metal snaps. These can be seen in training photos of the Apollo crews. Later versions, including all examples actually used on the missions, used velcro to fasten the flaps instead.
As noted in the stowage lists, the pockets were transferred from the pressure suits to the inflight coveralls after launch. It's worth noting that although the Commander and Lunar Module Pilots wore their checklist pockets whilst in the Lunar Module they were not worn on the pressure suits during the EVAs and so were never used on the lunar surface.
FLOWN availability - A couple of flown examples have found their way to market in recent years, selling for $8,540 and $11,000.
Unflown availability - Enough examples of each model and version of pocket design had to be produced to supply the requirements of prototyping, training, the provision of spares, and eventual use on the missions themselves. As new versions were introduced during the program, older models would have been sidelined. Examples of these various unflown pockets have found their way to market over the years, selling for anywhere between $250 and $1000 depending on the condition and version.
For Apollo 11 the stowage lists show the checklist and scissors pockets as part of the pressure garment assemblies that were worn by the astronauts during the launch phase. The first set of entries concerns the two extra-vehicular suits (EV) as worn by Armstrong and Aldrin and the second set covers the intra-vehicular (IV) suit worn by Collins, the Command Module Pilot.
Apollo 11 Stowage List - Checklist pocket entries from List A
The Apollo 11 stowage list shows that for whatever reason, Armstrong and Aldrin wore different version numbers of the pocket sets.
The checklist pockets worn by Mike Collins on Apollo 11 are part of the collection at the NASM, Washington DC. The checklist and scissor pockets worn by Aldrin were sold through Peachstate.
The stowage list entries concerning checklist pockets for Apollo 12 are shown below.
Apollo 12 Stowage List - Checklist pocket entries from List A
Strangely, there is no entry for checklist pockets for the Commander and Lunar Module Pilot, even though photos of the crew during pre-launch suit-up clearly show all crew members with the checklist pockets attached. The details shown for the checklist pockets of the Command Module Pilot are the same as for Apollo 11.
The checklist and scissor pocket combination worn by Gordon on Apollo 12 were sold through Farthest Reaches.
For Apollo 13 the stowage lists have entries for the checklist pockets of all three crewmembers.
Apollo 13 Stowage List - Checklist pocket entries from List A
The part and version numbers of the Commander and Lunar Module Pilot's checklist pockets are the same as those used on Apollo 11 except that both crewmembers on Apollo 13 used the -01 versions of the pockets. The part and version numbers of the Command Module Pilot's checklist pockets are identical to those used on Apollo 11 and Apollo 12.
The checklist and scissors pockets worn by Fred Haise on Apollo 13 were sold through Bonhams in 2009.
For Apollo 14 the stowage lists identify the checklist pockets used by the three crewmembers
Apollo 14 Stowage List - Checklist pocket entries from List A
The part and version numbers of the Commander and Lunar Module Pilot's checklist pockets are the same as those used on Apollo 13 except that they used version -03 of the invidual checklist pocket in place of -01.
The part and version numbers of the Command Module Pilot's checklist pockets are identical to those used on Apollo 11 through 13, except that the version number of the individual checklist pocket is now -06 instead of -03.
Apollo 15 saw the introduction of the A7LB space suit which meant a new set of part numbers for the associated suit pockets.
Apollo 15 Stowage List - Checklist pocket entries from List A
Although the entries are arranged differently the information is basically the same as for previous missions. The scissor pockets are noted individually, with their own part number, and each type of checklist pocket gets its own entry and part number. Note that Although the Command Module Pilot's 'data' pocket has an A7LB desingation, the rest of the part number implies this may be the same model used on previous missions by the CDR and LMP as a checklist pocket.
For Apollo 16 the stowage lists show the A7LB checklist pockets as follows.
Apollo 16 Stowage List - Checklist pocket entries from List A
The checklist pockets are essentially the same as those used on Apollo 15, except that the CDR/LMP have switched to version -01 of the checklist pocket, and the CMP has switched to version -01 of the same pocket and now uses the same data pocket as the CDR/LMP.
For Apollo 17 the stowage lists identify the checklist pockets as shown below.
Apollo 17 Stowage List - Checklist pocket entries from List A
These are essentially the same pockets (including part and version numbers) as used on Apollo 16.
|Examples of flown checklist pockets sold at auction or identified in private or museum collections|
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