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Helmet Stowage Bag
(aka LEVA Bag)


Apollo 11 HSB Diagram

Apollo 11 Helmet Stowage Bag.  Illustration courtesy ILC Historian, Bill Aryey.
(Click on the image for a larger version)


Summary


    Although it is called the Helmet Stowage Bag (HSB), its primary function was stowage of the Lunar Extravehicular Visor Assembly and the EVA gloves.  On all missions, for Earth launch, the HSBs were stowed on the LM cabin floor, one on either side of the LMP's PLSS (diagram below).  Later, in preparation for the descent and landing, the LM crew secured the HSBs out of the way on the Ascent Engine cover.

    On all the missions, in preparation for Lunar launch, the crews stowed the LEVAs and EVA gloves in the HSBs and secured them on the engine cover for the return to lunar orbit.  They were taken along, rather than being jettisoned on the lunar surface, in case the LM crew was unable to dock with the Command Module and had to make an EVA transfer.  On Apollo 11, 12, and 14, once a successful docking had been made and the rock boxes and other gear were transferred to the CM, the HSBs were left behind in the in the LM cabin.  On the last three missions, the HSBs were transferred to the CM so that the LEVAs and gloves could be used during the CMP's EVA done to retrieve film canisters from the Service Module.

    Disposition of the HSBs evolved from mission to mission:
    As befit the primary function of the HSB, from Apollo 14 onward they were listed as the "LEVA Bags" in the LM Lunar Surface Checklists.  The name "Helmet Stowage Bag" persisted in the spacecraft Stowage Lists.  From Apollo 15 onward, the shorthand name for the "Helmet and LEVA Interim Stowage Container Assembly" was "helmet bag" or, more colorfully, the BRA (Bag Restraint Assembly?) because of its resemblance to a brassiere.

Procedure for stowing the EVA gloves and LEVA in the HSB

Bill Ayrey has provided a digital copy of the stowage instructions that were written on the HSB blueprint.  The list reads up from the bottom. (Click on the image for a larger version.)

HSB Procedures



HSB Stowage for Earth Lauch and and Lunar Landing



HSB Position 1

Detail from Figure 1-7 in the LM10 Handbook, Vol. 1,
showing the two HSBs stowed on the LM cabin floor for Earth launch.
(Click on the image for a full view of the front of the cabin.)




HSB Position 2


Detail from Figure 1-11 in the LM10 Handbook, Vol. 1.,
showing the two HSBs stowed on the Ascent Engine Cover for
the descent and landing and, later, for the return to lunar orbit.
(Click on the image for a full view of the back of the cabin.


Details of HSB Disposition During the Missions


Action
Mission Phase
Source

Apollo 11

Helmet stowage bags - containing LEVAs, gloves, etc - stowed on cabin floor LM (Earth) Launch A11 Stowage lists, List B, LM Launch Stowage List, page 41
HSBs secured on ascent engine cover
Preps for descent and landing
Diagrams above
"Remove LEVA's and EV gloves from helmet bags and stow aft of engine"
Post-Sleep, EVA Prep, PLSS/OPS Donning
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 27
"Stow helmet bags in top lunar overshoe comp(artment)"
Post-Sleep, EVA Prep, PLSS/OPS Donning LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 27
No further mention of LEVAs or helmet bags in LM LS Checklist
Helmet stowage bags - containing LEVAs, gloves, etc - stowed on ascent engine cover LM (Lunar) Launch
A11 Stowage lists, List D, LM Launch Stowage List, page 62
No mention of the helmet bags or LEVAs in the LM-to-CM or EM Entry Stowage Lists

Apollo 12

Visors, gloves, etc in the HSBs on the LM cabin floor LM (Earth) Launch Apollo 12 Stowage Lists, List B, LM (Earth) Launch Stowage List, page 41
HSBs secured on ascent engine cover Preps for descent and landing Diagrams above
"Stow helmet bags on floor; Position helmets on aft engine cover"
Equipment Prep for EVA-1
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-26
"Stow helmet bag of RH engine cover"
Equipment Prep for EVA-1 LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-27
(Undoubtedly after removing visors and gloves) "Position helmet bags in SRC (stowage) area"
Helmet/Glove donning for EVA-1
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-30
"Doff gloves, helmets with visors and stow on Eng Cover"
Post EVA systems configuration
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-60
"Stow EV gloves, helmets, and visors in helmet bags; stow helmet bags on floor"
PLSS/OPS Doffing
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-62
Stowage diagram for sleep period
Configure Sleep Stations and Stowage
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-64
"Stow helmet bags on Eng Cover"
Post-Sleep
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-65
"Stow helmet bags on LH cabin floor"
Equip. Prep for EVA-2
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-67
"Position helmet bags on Eng Cover; Stow visors, helmets,  and EV gloves on RH eng cover; position helmet bags in SRC area"
Equip. Prep for EVA-2 LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-67
"Stow EV gloves and visors in helmet bags; secure helmet bags on engine cover"
Post EVA-2 Cabin Cleanup
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page Sur-97
Visors, gloves, etc in HSBs on Ascent Engine Cover
LM (Lunar) Launch
Apollo 12 Stowage Lists, List D, LM (Earth) Launch Stowage List, page 66
No mention of the helmet bags or LEVAs in the LM-to-CM or EM Entry Stowage Lists

Apollo 14

HSBs, containing LEVAs, EV gloves, etc secured on LM cabin floor
Earth launch
Apollo 14 Stowage Lists, List B, LM Earth Launch, page 50
HSBs secured on ascent engine cover Preps for descent and landing Diagrams above
"Stow LEVA bags on floor, 1 left, 1 right; position (pressure) helmets on armrests"
Equipment Prep for EVA-1
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 2-5



"Unstow LEVA's; Stow LEVA's, then helmets on RH Eng Cov, stow EV gloves on Comm panels; stow LEVA bags in SRC Area"
Equipment Prep for EVA-1 LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 2-6
"Doff gloves, stow on comm panel; doff helmets with visors, stowon RH eng cover, Top ETB"
Post EVA-1 Systems Configuration
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 4-1
Stowage diagram.  "Unstow 2 interim stowage straps; place one LEVA , Blue tether; hang LEVA on recharge station brkt +Z27 (bulkhead)' stow other LEVA aft LH eng cover"
Note that they are not stowing the LEVAs in the LEVA bag for the rest period and are giving themselves more room for the hammocks.
Configure Sleep Stations
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 4-6
"Stow LEVAs on aft eng cover"
Post-Sleep
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 4-7
"Stow EV gloaves and visors in LEVA bags (visors aft); stow LEVA bags on floor, 1 Rt, 1 Left"
Post-EVA Cabin clean-up
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 7-4
"Stow LEVA bags on engine cover"
Post-EVA Cabin clean-up LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 7-5
HSBs on engine cover
Lunar launch
Apollo 14 Stowage Lists, List D, LM Lunar Launch, page 77
No mention of the helmet bags or LEVAs in the LM-to-CM or EM Entry Stowage Lists

Apollo 15

HSBs, containing LEVAs, EV gloves, etc secured on LM cabin floor (locations 1-Fa/1-F10) Earth launch
Apollo 15 Stowage Lists, List B, Pages 50 and 54
Helmet and LEVA Interim Stowage Container Assembly (HLISCA, location F9)
Earth launch Apollo 15 Stowage Lists, List B, Pages 55
HSBs secured on ascent engine cover Preps for descent and landing Diagrams above
"Stow LEVA bags on floor, 1 left, 1 right; Install Helmet Bag" (Helmet and LEVA Interim Stowage Container).  Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt believe that, what Gene called the "BRA" was hung up at the back of the cabin.
SEVA Equipment Prep
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 2-1, left column
"Stow LEVA's, (pressure) helmets, EV gloves  on eng cover; Stow LEVA bags under OPS"
SEVA Equipment Prep
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 2-1, right column
"Doff gloves, stow on comm panel; Doff helmets with visors, stow in helmet bag (HLISCA)" Post-SEVA Systems Configuration
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 2-4, right column
Between EVAs, the LEVAs and pressure helmets are stowed in the HLISCA, which is thrown out in the final jettison in preparation for LM launch as per page 11-3.
"Doff gloves, stow on comm panel; Doff helmets with visors, stow on ISS"
Post-Jettison
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 11-4, right column
"Stow EV gloves and visors (remove helmets) in LEVA bags (visors aft); Place LEVA bags on floor, 1 Rt, 1 Left
Cabin Clean-up
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 12-3, left column
Secure LEVA bags on Eng Cover
Cabin Clean-up LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 12-3, right column
HSBs on engine cover (location A3) Lunar launch Apollo 15 Stowage Lists, List D, LM Lunar Launch, pages 83 and 86
HSB, containing EV gloves and LEVA
Transfer from LM to CM
Apollo 15 Stowage Lists, List E, LM to CM Transfer, pages 105 and 106
HSB, containing EV gloves and LEVA CM Re-entry
Apollo 15 Stowage Lists, List F, CM Entry, pages 128 and and 129

Apollo 16

Stowage during flight portions identical to Apollo 15
Flight portions
Apollo 16 Stowage Lists
Planned disposition of the HSBs during the lunar  surface stay identical to Apollo 15 except  for the fact that there was no Apollo 16 SEVA.  The six-hour landing delay dictated schedule and checklist changes.  The crew had planned to do an EVA before having a rest period but, because of the long-day, had a rest period first.

LM Lunar Surface Checklist
"Stow LEVA's, helmets, and EV gloves on ISS; Stow LEVA bags under SRC compt (compartment); Stow helmet bag (HLISCA)
EVA-1 Preps
LM Lunar Surface Checklist, page 2-5, right column

Apollo 17

Stowage during flight portions identical to Apollo 15 and 16

Apollo 17 Stowage Lists
Lunar stay HSB disposition identical to Apollo 16 as-planned

LM Lunar Surface Checklist


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