Destination Moon Site Index
Apollo 11 Gallery


One of the EVA handles, which would have been used should it have been necessary to perform an emergency transfer EVA.

There are four of this type of EVA handle on the command module. An additional EVA handle (which folded flat during launch) was located on the forward heat shield (which covered the Earth landing system and which was jettisoned at a high altitude to allow the various parachutes to be deployed); another, smaller handle was located on the hatch.

Note the two white disks on each of the upper and lower portions of the handle. These radioluminescent (RL) disks, approximately 5/8 inch in diameter, would glow in the dark to provide visual cues for an astronaut.

The disks glowed because they contained the radiological element Promethium 147, which period documentation described as "slightly radioactive." Most or all of the Apollo command module EVA handles have been removed and destroyed as nuclear waste, due to safety concerns (see Apollo 11 Spacecraft Handle. The only flown external handle from the Apollo program for additional information).

I asked an SLSC staff member who was answering questions about the exhibits about the EVA handles on the command module, and he confirmed that they were replicas without any radioactive material. Presumably, the EVA handle on the hatch is also a replica.

The diagonal bar on the top and the bottom of the handle are the EVA tether attach points.

Apollo 11 EVA handle at Destination Moon
Time picture taken Thu Aug 23 12:32:10 2018
Location picture taken Boeing Hall
St. Louis Science Center
St. Louis, MO
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