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"Troublesome EVA tether used, and broken, on the lunar surface"
Flown EVA retractable tether used on the lunar surface by Dave Scott during the Apollo 15 mission. The tether, referred to by astronauts as a ‘yo-yo,’ is stamped with a part number of SEB33100291-301 and serial number SN 1018. The device measures approximately 2 x 1 x .75, with remnants of its original brown strap used to attach it to Scott’s PLSS and to carry tools during lunar surface operations. Attached to the end of the 35″ retractable cord is a replacement double-jawed spring-closing mechanism with an incorporated eyelet for attachment to the tether cord. Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Dave Scott which reads, in part: “I hereby certify that the EVA Retractable Tether (‘Yo-Yo’) included with this letter (including detached internal cord)…was used by me during the lunar surface activities…This Yo-yo was also used for the Universal Hand Tool (UHT) to assist in ALSEP deployment (Boyd Bold release); however during the ALSEP deployment, this particular Yo-yo failed when the string connecting the clamp broke at its attach point on the clamp, and the clamp was lost on the Moon. We returned the Yo-yo to Earth; and subsequent disassembly after the mission showed that both the bowline and the figure-eight knot attaching the cord to the clamp had untied, thus allowing the cord to retract into the housing…After this post-mission analysis the Yo-yo was reassembled to its current configuration (however the original clamp was replaced in this assembly). An improved clinch knot was installed on large Yo-yos for subsequent missions." As noted in the Apollo 15 Mission Report (chapter 14, 5.7), both retractable tethers failed during lunar surface operations; the Commander's tether cord broke during the first extravehicular activity, and the tool clamp came off the end of the Lunar Module Pilot's tether. RR Auction COA.