Handle, McTether Ratchet Wrench Tool

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    Handle, McTether Ratchet Wrench Tool

    Anodized aluminum, machine cut into a ratche wrench handle. There is a circular tether loop at one end connected to the handle. The handle has grooves carved in the sides and six holes milled out of the center grip: 5 large and one small to reduce mass. The head has two circular holes set in to incorporate the ratchet hardware.

    1 of 3

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Handle, McTether Ratchet Wrench Tool

    Anodized aluminum, machine cut into a ratche wrench handle. There is a circular tether loop at one end connected to the handle. The handle has grooves carved in the sides and six holes milled out of the center grip: 5 large and one small to reduce mass. The head has two circular holes set in to incorporate the ratchet hardware.

    2 of 3

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Handle, McTether Ratchet Wrench Tool

    Anodized aluminum, machine cut into a ratche wrench handle. There is a circular tether loop at one end connected to the handle. The handle has grooves carved in the sides and six holes milled out of the center grip: 5 large and one small to reduce mass. The head has two circular holes set in to incorporate the ratchet hardware.

    3 of 3

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Spacewalking astronaut Bruce McCandless inspired the design of this tool handle, as denoted by the "McTether" name engraved on the shaft. It is milled out to reduce mass, shaped for handling with a spacesuit-gloved hand, and anchored by a tether ring. Tools are always clipped to an astronaut’s wrist tether or workstation to keep them handy without floating away. A socket or ratchet head could be attached to the oval end of the tool, and the long shaft served as a lever for torque to tighten or loosen bolts, especially those that could not be reached easily by hand.

This tool is probably a prototype for the tool that eventually became part of the standard extravehicular activity (EVA) tool kit on Space Shuttle missions. NASA transferred this tool to the Museum after the Shuttle program ended in 2012.