View Full Version : Sunglasses on the moon?

2003-Dec-22, 03:31 AM
I was looking at a diagram of the Apollo space suits from a book the other day,when I saw something that I had never noticed before. On the upper right arm,there is a pocket which is meant to carry sunglasses. I find it rather odd that an astronaut would need sunglasses in his space suit,considering that he would have been wearing his helmet. Also on the upper left arm, there is a pocket which held a penlight. I am not sure how effective the light from a penlight would have been for any astronaut that was on the moon. Would anyone know what the pupose would have been in having these two items in a space suit?

2003-Dec-22, 03:38 AM
Conspiracy. :wink:

2003-Dec-22, 05:07 AM
Does it specifically say that it's for sunglasses? If so, then there's a couple of reasons why I can think of that the astronauts would want such a pocket. One is simply because the suits are made to resemble the ordinary flight suits of fighter pilots, so it might simply be they copied that part of the design without putting too much thought into it. Another reason is that since, as fighter pilots, they were used to having a pocket located there, it'd be a natural place for them to stick things. The third reason, if it really was intended for holding sunglasses has to do with a bit of a worst case scenerio. If the astronauts came down somewhere far away from the recovery vehicles, then the sunglasses would help cut the glare (since they'd be polarizing) off the ocean and enable the astronauts to spot either land, or ships without being blinded by the glare.

As for the penlight, well, that's pretty obvious. They wouldn't use it for illuminating parts of the Moon, they'd use it for looking in equipment bags, or if they had to dig around in the innards of the ship to do an emergency repair. Not to mention if one of them woke up in the middle of the night and had to use the bathroom, he could use the penlight to help with the "facilities" instead of turning on the cabin lights and waking his crewmates.

2003-Dec-22, 08:00 AM
With Apollo 11, 12 and 14, the astronauts on the moon were suited all the time, only doffing helmet and gloves when inside. So they needed pockets on their suits for pens, sunglasses etc they may use inside the LM. The sun is very bright outside, so maybe they had some for looking outside.

I'll go and ask Ed Mitchell about this.


PS: And look (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/as11-36-5390.jpg) what Buzz has in his hand in this photo taken during initial inspection of the LM on the way to the moon.

captain swoop
2003-Dec-22, 11:33 AM

PS: And look (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/as11-36-5390.jpg) what Buzz has in his hand in this photo taken during initial inspection of the LM on the way to the moon.[/quote]

That pretty much nails it I think.