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The bulky Portable Life Support Systems (PLSS) worn by the Apollo moonwalkers during their EVAs were left behind on the lunar surface at the end of the missions but some astronauts were able to bring back souvenirs from these iconic features of the moon landings.


The iconic backpacks worn by the Apollo astronauts on their moonwalks consisted of a PLSS (Portable Life Support System) topped by an OPS (Oxygen Purge System).

They were enclosed in protective white beta cloth covers with name tags, mission insignia and US flag patches sewn onto them.

On the moon landing missions these PLSS and OPS units were jettisonned after the final EVA on the surface and on Apollo 13 they were left behind in the Lunar Module but some astronauts managed to take souvenirs from the units before they were lost.

On Apollo 13, Lovell and Haise used their surgical scissors to cut away parts of the PLSS and OPS beta cloth covers as souvenirs. A piece of Fred Haise's PLSS cover is shown on the right.

The PLSS units were attached to the astronauts' suits via shoulder and waist straps. The left and right waist straps, which clipped on to hooks on the space suit, were fully-detachable, and a number of astronauts saved these straps as mementos after their last EVA.

A few other PLSS-related items kept by the astronauts have also surfaced over the years, including dust plugs used to protect umbilical attachment points on the PLSS when not in use, and cables used to attach components of the PLSS. These are detailed in the annex sections below.

FLOWN availability - Only a few of the astronauts took items from the PLSSs so very few of these items have been sold at auction. Those examples I have seen are listed in the annexes below.


Annex A: Apollo PLSS straps sold at auction or identified in private or museum collections

Mssn.AstronautStatusDetailsSold viaSale DateLot no.PriceReference / Notes
AS12ConradLM FLOWNRight waist strapRR AuctionMay 22 2014358$52,649Auction listing 
AS12ConradLM FLOWNLeft waist strapRR AuctionJun 25 20155056$61,250Auction listing 
AS12ConradLM FLOWNSub-strap from number 2 strapBonhamsApr 13 20101211UNSOLDAuction listing 
AS12BeanLM FLOWNLeft waist strapHeritageMay 14 201440160$93,750Auction listing 
AS12BeanLM FLOWNRight waist strapBonhamsApr 21 2015120UNSOLDAuction listing 
RRAuctionSep 20 20166296$51,182Auction listing 
AS14MitchellLM FLOWNRight waist strapSwannMar 27 2004174UNSOLD
HeritageMar 25 200858131UNSOLDUnsold at hammer price
of $38,750 ; Auction listing 
BonhamsMay 5 2011209UNSOLDAuction listing 
RRAuctionApr 28 2015236$41,807Auction listing 


Annex B: Apollo PLSS dust caps sold at auction or identified in private or museum collections

Mssn.AstronautStatusDetailsSold viaSale DateLot no.PriceReference / Notes
AS12ConradLM FLOWNPLSS dust plugRR AuctionNov 21 2013537$8,098Auction listing 
AS12BeanLM FLOWNPLSS safety capBonhamsApr 21 2015123$3,750Auction listing 


Annex C: Apollo PLSS/OPS cover fragments sold at auction or identified in private or museum collections

Mssn.AstronautStatusDetailsSold viaSale DateLot no.PriceReference / Notes
AS13HaiseLM FLOWNPLSS cover insignia and nametagHeritageNov 6 201552106$19,375Auction listing 
AS13LovellLM FLOWNOPS cover segmentHeritageOct 7 200841101$5,676Auction listing 
AS13HaiseLM FLOWNPLSS cover insignia and nametagBonhamsJul 16 2009237$10,370Auction listing 
AS13HaiseLM FLOWNOPS cover segmentBonhamsJul 16 2009238$4,880Auction listing 
AS15ScottLM FLOWNOPS cover segmentAuroraApr 27 2002?$28,750
AS15ScottLM FLOWNOPS cover segmentAuroraApr 25 2004632$12,338Auction listing 
AS15IrwinLM FLOWNPLSS cover insignia and nametagChristiesSep 18 1999171$310,500Auction listing 


Annex D: Apollo PLSS cables sold at auction or identified in private or museum collections

Mssn.AstronautStatusDetailsSold viaSale DateLot no.PriceReference / Notes
AS15ScottLM FLOWNPLSS cableAuroraOct 2 2004464B$4,700
AS15ScottLM FLOWNPLSS cableAuroraApr 14 2007642$5,175
AS15ScottLM FLOWNPLSS cable or umbilical?HeritageApr 21 201041147UNSOLD?
AS15ScottLM FLOWNPLSS cableRRAuctionMay 23 2013585$12,173Auction listing 

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