Lunar Extravehicular Visor Assembly
Left - Apollo 11 early LEVA
Apollo 17 CDR Eugene Cernan
during EVA practice. Note red
Commander's stripe down center
Center - Jack Schmidt at Taurus-Littrow with final version
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
showing all the
major parts of the
This is the same LEVA shown in the EMU Walkaround
|Front view. Note
tabs to pull down
the various visors
and eye shades.
Also note image
of a smiling
reflected in the
|Side view, with
|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
|Side view. Every
seam on the thermal
cover is visible.
|Front view showing
the hinge mechanism
|Latch mechanism and EMU
view of the hinge
here to return to EMU Gallery