Apollo Stowage Lists Project Instructions

Thank you for being a digital volunteer! It’s very important that this work is performed in a standardized manner, so please make the effort to read and follow these instructions.

Our Peer Review Process

How the Process Works

We seek to balance quality and speed with our transcription process - which of course is still evolving as we continue to develop this service. At the moment, this is how our system works:

1) Anyone can start transcribing or add to a transcription of a document.

2) Once a volunteer decides they've finished and they're ready for review, a different volunteer (who must have an account on the site) can review the transcription and either send it back for edits, or complete the transcription.

3) The finished transcript is sent to the Smithsonian, where it may be used immediately, or undergo additional work.

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The Apollo Missions Stowage Lists

The National Museum of Air and Space (NASM) holds the premier collection of artifacts of the American Apollo Moon landing program. In addition to all of the recovered Apollo spacecraft, NASM been able to selectively collect provisions and equipment provided for the use of astronauts during their missions when those items were returned and were subsequently declared surplus to NASA’s mission requirements.

In fact, only a small fraction of such items were returned, with many remaining in unrecovered spacecraft - that is, in the Lunar Modules and Service Modules designed to be jettisoned before reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. And of the items that were returned, not all were declared surplus and offered to the Smithsonian for the national collection. Other items were left on the surface of the Moon itself. Helping to understand and contextualize the items in the Smithsonian collection is the heart of this transcription project, which will produce, from official NASA documents (stowage lists) a database of all government provided and contractor provided equipment originally placed on the spacecraft including information about scheduled transfers of each item from one location to another in the course of the missions.

The results of this project will be a foundation for documenting the provenance and history of such flown items, for future research related to those items and to others that may be offered to the Smithsonian (even those that may at some future date be recovered from the Moon itself), and for augmenting our current and future exhibitions and displays.

At the time of each Apollo mission launch, NASA prepared a set of printed “as flown” stowage lists to document what items were to be stored on the spacecraft (both the Command Module and Lunar Module), which items were to be transferred from one to another before landing and after rendezvous in lunar orbit following the successful landing. These lists have, to our knowledge, never been assembled into a comprehensive, searchable database, and hence have not been as useful a tool as they might otherwise become. It is our intention, with this project, to create a reliable, searchable database of formal plans for these stowed items.

That database can provide the Museum and others interested in the history of spaceflight with a valuable tool for understanding how the lunar missions were planned and executed, and precisely what roles surviving items play during those missions. Because the printed stowage lists contain information about where the items were stowed, when they were removed from their original containers, and when they were to be transferred from one spacecraft to another (e.g., from the Command Modules to the Lunar Modules and back), the database will assist NASM curators in establishing detailed histories of objects in the collection. It will also provide all interested in Apollo artifacts list of items that were intended to remain on the lunar surface. Such list will be useful developing policies for the treatment and possible recovery of those items during future missions. Learn more at the National Museum of Air & Space blog.

Navigating the Apollo Stowage Lists

To navigate the Apollo Stowage Lists, please transcribe columns from left to right, labeled according to the column title.

Adjust the size of the image window to help you focus on each row as you transcribe. Be sure to type in or select all the information you can for the fields in each section before you check the box at the bottom that reads “Complete and Mark for Review.”

Special Notice

We are transcribing two sets of Apollo Stowage Lists: "As Flown" and "Revision Lists."

Unless the title of the project contains "Revision Lists," you WILL NOT transcribe the “Change Date" and “Change Reason” columns.

NOTE: You will NOT transcribe data from the following fields and columns:

  • RPT numbers
  • Mission numbers
  • Date

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      Column Instructions

      The vast majority of pages are the stowage lists themselves, which contain tables consisting of 11 rows of tabular data in 7 labeled columns. Other text on the page will not need transcription, including dates, mission codes, RPT numbers, COMAT, and CFE/GFE.

      Instructions on exactly what should be transcribed, and what should not, is provided below. Please pay careful attention to the detail required when transcribing Item number (Item #), as explained below.

      This project is transcribing eleven columns, row by row (or line by line). When you enter data in the bottom-most row, a new row will be generated.

      Column 1: Page

      Please enter the page number, found in the upper right hand corner of each page. Enter the page number in each row.

      Column 2: List

      Here you'll enter the List letter - typically A-F.

      Column 3: Section

      Please enter the number for the section; for example Sec 1 should be entered as 1.

      Column 4: Item #

      Enter the alphanumeric of the form ANNNN.NN (e.g. A0114.12). Each item number is a letter A, B, C… etc. followed by a 4 digit number followed by a decimal point - and sometimes by one or 2 additional numbers. Transcribers should transcribe the alphanumeric with no spaces between the letter and numbers (e.g., A0114.02; A0114.12; A0137.00).

      The numbers following the decimal are sometimes absent so you will need to add a zero to the number. In the image to the right, you will see the first Item number is B 0105. 1 and it should be transcribed B0105.01

      Similarly, transcribers should add 00 to Item #s that end with only a decimal; for example, the second Item number is B 0106. and should be transcribed as B0106.00

      Volunteers should carefully check that when the initial letter is ”O” it is not transcribed as a numerical 0.

      Column 5: Part #

      Enter alphanumeric data for the Part Number. Most part numbers are 15 characters in length, but there are some nonstandard forms. The most frequent 15 character numbers are normally of the form: AAANNNNNNNN-NNN ( e.g. SEB3210080-301). Please transcribe the Part Numbers as they are written.

      Column 6: Nomen

      This column is for "Nomenclature" - please enter written words and abbreviations in ALL CAPS.

      Transcribers should introduce a space after commas when they are followed immediately by additional letters. For example: “ASSY.,RADIO BEACON” should be transcribed as “ASSY., RADIO BEACON”. Transcribe other punctuation and spacing as it appears.

      Column 7: StowLoc

      This column contains data about Stowage Location. Enter written words and numerals (frequently blank)

      Please copy as written, adding spaces after punctuation if missing. For example: “4-A3,A4,B5,B6/2 IN ECU,2-A6” should be transcribed as “4-A3, A4, B5, B6 / 2 IN ECU, 2-A6”

      Column 8: Unit Wt

      Enter numbers, with decimal fractions to 2 places (e,g., 1.00, 2.20, .62, etc.), to indicate the unit weight.

      Some entries have a proceeding * indicating “estimated,” or the letters “NEG.” indicating “negligible.” Include the leading * or NEG if present.

      Column 9: QTY/SC

      Please transcribe whole numbers, (e.g. 1, 6, 72). This column indicates how many of the items are stowed. There are a few instances of “1EA” - please transcribe those as written.

      Please Note: Column 10: Change Date and Column 11: Change Reason should be left blank, unless the project title includes "Revision Notices."

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      We will have additional projects that will clearly be labeled "Revision Notices." In addition to the columns listed above, you will complete the final two columns of the transcription table when you are working on Revision Notice projects. These tables document last minute additions, deletions, or substitutions. They are structured with the same columns as the "As Flown" lists, and include two additional columns. Here are the details of these additional columns when Revision Notices pages appear:

      Column 10: Change Date

      You will see the date in the form “m-dd-yy”.

      Please add a preceding 0 for single digit months and 19-- preceding the year, entering date in the form mm-dd-yyyy

      Column 11: Change Reason

      Enter written words, numbers and abbreviations in ALL CAPS. Copy information as closely as a possible.

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      Additional Information on Page

      Outside of the specific areas we've asked you to capture in each column section, please do not attempt to capture any additional information on the stowage lists.

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