Project Apollo
Lunar Extravehicular Visor Assembly
(LEVA)


Apollo 17 CDR Eugene Cernan
during EVA practice.  Note red
Commander's stripe down center
of helmet

Left - Apollo 11 early LEVA
Center - Jack Schmidt at Taurus-Littrow with final version of LEVA
Right - Late version LEVA.  NASA photo.


The Lunar Extravehicular Visor Assembly (LEVA) was designed to fit over the Apollo Pressure Helmet Assembly (aka Bubble Helmet), and latch into place.  The LEVA provided "visual, thermal, and mechanical protection to the crewman’s helmet and head."  The LEVA was an elegant design, consisting in one assembly of a thermal cover, 2 visors, and 3 eyeshades.
The 2 visors were layered over each other.  The inner "protective visor" was made of ultraviolet-stabilized polycarbonate plastic and filtered ultraviolet rays, rejected infrared and, in combination with the sun visor and pressure helmet, formed an effective thermal barrier.  The outer "sun visor" was made of high-temperature polysulfone plastic and filtered visible light and most ultraviolet and infrared rays.


The LEVA, like the EMU and most Apollo hardware, went through a few evolutionary steps.
The first LEVAs worn on the moon on Apollo 11 featured the basic LEVA with side visors only.  Apollo 12 added the center eyeshade with viewport door.  Apollo's 13 - 17 LEVAs featured side and center eyeshades, as well as a hard shell cover over the thermal cover on top of the LEVA.  The hard shell covering the LEVA ws added after it was discovered that micrometeoroids were penetrating the thermal covering of the LEVA.  The commander's LEVA sported the red CDR stripe down the center from Apollo 13 on.
Also of note, on Apollos 15 - 17 the surface crewmen wore the PLSS Tool Carrier Harness on their backpacks.  In order to facilitate dropping the harness off the PLSS to reenter the LM quickly in the event of an emergency, a pair of straps was attached with velcro to each side of the LEVA.  Click on photo below to see the straps.

Photo above and at top of page courtesy Kipp Teague's Project Apollo Archive


Diagrams
NASA LEVA
diagram
Detailed diagram 
showing all the 
major parts of the 
early LEVA


LEVA Photos
Courtesy Mr. Paul Kashuk
This is the same LEVA shown in the EMU Walkaround page
Front view.  Note 
tabs to pull down 
the various visors 
and eye shades. 
Also note image 
of a smiling 
Paul Kashuk 
reflected in the 
visor!
Side view, with 
side eyeshades 
pulled down
Great photo!  Note 
that Paul put tape 
measures in the 
photo.  Inside of 
helmet is red and 
the cowling flaps 
on the bottom of 
the LEVA are 
shown.  Note the
open latch on the 
front.
Side view.  Every 
seam on the thermal 
cover is visible.
Front view showing 
the hinge mechanism
Latch mechanism and EMU 
helmet ring
Inside-the-helmet
view of the hinge 
mechanism

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