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  "...that's not the suit I wore on the Moon."

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Author Topic:   "...that's not the suit I wore on the Moon."
mensax
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posted 10-10-2004 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I attended Dave Scott's visit to the National Air and Space Museum yesterday and was surprised to hear Dave Scott's comments about the spacesuit that the museum has displayed there and has identified as the suit that he wore on the moon.

I didn't have a recorder, or even a pen and paper to write down his exact quotes, but he made it clear that he did not know what suit that was, but that it was not the one that he wore on the moon. The helmet isn't right, he owns the patch that was on the suit he wore, and that the suit he wore didn't have a big yellow stain on it, among other things. He said that the suit on display was a piece of ****.

He told a Smithsonian official, who was in the small gathering, that he was sure it was NASA's fault and not the museums error... and then he apologized to them on behalf of NASA for the mistake.

Dave Scott was asked where his suit was, and he commented that he didn't have a suit, that it was the property of NASA and that he just used it and turned it in after the mission and that he hasn't seen it since.

I was pretty blown away with all that... was anyone else aware of this situation?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-10-2004 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a photo of the suit in question.

As all the suits have lost their patches (as they were presented to the astronauts), either NASA or the Smithsonian (not sure which) replaced them with replicas. (The only two exceptions, as I understand it, are Aldrin's and Armstrong's, as both donated their patches to the Smithsonian).

As for the helmet or other components, or the suit itself, National Air and Space Museum has in recent years been working to preserve the suits and so a replica may have been on display while the real suit is being cared for at the Garber Facility.

That said, 30 years of being on Earth hasn't been kind to the suits (hence the preservation effort) - they may have been designed to withstand the lunar surface but the suits are failing the tests of time - and Scott's admission that this was the first time seeing the suit since he flew would mean that any damage (either from exposure of just post-flight handling) would be new to him.

An interesting question. Perhaps one of our National Air and Space Museum staff readers might chime in with more details.

mensax
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posted 10-10-2004 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After Dave Scott finished his talk I walked back over and stared at the suit for a long while. If that patch on the display suit is a replacement then someone did an incredible job of matching the suit's dirt and staining.

I'm not saying it's not possible to do so, and I'm sure the National Air and Space Museum has the staff to do this quality of workmanship. In my line of work, historic building restoration, we frequently try to blend repairs and replacements so as not to stand out.

But, we also try not to do it so well, that there is any confusion as to what is original and what is our work.

mensax
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posted 10-10-2004 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Scott's admission that this was the first time seeing the suit since he flew...
I don't believe Scott viewed the suit on this visit to the museum. I believe he was basing his opinion of the suit upon a previous visit. He was asked if he was going to take a tour of the museum while there, to which he replied no, which is when someone commented "but your suit is on display here!"... which lead to his comments on the suit.

poolman18
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posted 10-10-2004 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for poolman18   Click Here to Email poolman18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This brings up a good point. I was at the museum and also saw this exhibit. For the past year and half I have believed to have seen the "original" Dave Scott moonsuit. I actually made my wife take a picture of me standing by it.

If Dave Scott's comment is true then — 

Isn't this false advertising? Shouldn't a sign say that that this suit is a replica of the original? How many other items are replicas? Why go to see this stuff.

I went to the museum to see the original items. In my opinion this is terribly wrong.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 10-10-2004 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In one of the NASA books about Apollo 17 — sorry, forget the title  — there's a shot of Charlie Duke, one of the backups, training, with the caption to the effect of that he's wearing Dave Scott's suit to save money.

Was he wearing the actual suit that Scott wore on the moon or was he wearing a training version?

nasamad
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posted 10-10-2004 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the Project Apollo Archive there is also a shot of Gene Cernan wearing Dave Scott's suit for training. Check it out in the Apollo 17 section.

Matt T
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posted 10-10-2004 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
Was he wearing the actual suit that Scott wore on the moon or was he wearing a training version?
I'm not sure that Duke wore Scott's suit but Cernan certainly did — and apparently yes, it was the flown suit.

Scott and Cernan seem to have been of very similar sizes, hence the suit swap. This had happened at least once before but in the other direction, with one of Cernan's Apollo 14 backup crew gloves being reassigned to Scott, (and possibly the whole suit).

So the question of stains that Scott didn't recollect is easily answered. Cernan and Schmitt spent months training in the browny orange soil at Houston, and it certainly left it's mark on Harrison Schmitt's glove that I have in my collection. The stains on the finger tips and seams match up exactly with the soil colour in the EVA training shots. Another possibility would be an orange juice leak, such as experienced by Duke on Apollo 16.

As to the suit patch — no ideas. I guess a bright clean replacement would look very obvious against the stained suit, so maybe it is just a well made replica. I can't imagine that Scott is wrong in stating that he owns the original.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 10-10-2004 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're right, just found my copy of "On the Moon with Apollo 17" (which I'm throwing into the swap box, if it ever comes my way.) Page 75: "To save the cost of another astronaut suit, Cernan was practicing that day in the suit that had actually been worn on the Moon's surface by Dave Scott." NASA photo S-72-35043.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 10-11-2004 04:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the problems encountered by Garber in preserving the Apollo A7L/A7LB suits is that plastic/rubber tubing used in the LCG and gas/water piping of the suits in time degrades turning brittle and brown. Some of the staining on Scott's suit and others I have seen is undoubtedly due to staining resulting from this process.

divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
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posted 10-11-2004 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had a chat with Dot Cunningham about this. She's currently trying to track down Walt's flown suit cover pieces for possible display in Dallas with CSM101. She said "check the serial numbers" and you'll know if it's the real deal.

Simple solution, eh?

dtemple
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posted 10-11-2004 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe Walt Cunningham's Apollo 7 spacesuit is on display at the Ed Givens museum in Quannah, Texas. Maybe it's a training suit.

divemaster
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posted 10-11-2004 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding from conversations with Dot is that the beta cloth exterior of his flight suit was disassembled into pieces to see how it held up during the flight to make sure that future suits held up going forward.

The inner pressure garment is still in one piece in cold storage in the Garber facility.

Tod
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posted 10-11-2004 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tod   Click Here to Email Tod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The suit at the museum in Quanah is a Gemini-style suit, most likely used by Cunningham during his time on the Apollo 1 backup crew.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 10-11-2004 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I'm not very much mistaken, Walt's flight suit is at Garber but in two pieces. Garber received it a matter of days or weeks prior to my visiting the facility in April 2002. It had been returned from Houston (JSC I presume) but interestingly had been cut in half at the waist and a rudimentary/experimental coulping device fitted making the suit "two piece" not unlike the current shuttle suits. The suit was laid out on a gurney and looked a tad the worse for wear. Lots of discoloured glue and gunk where the couplings had been fitted to the suit.

If memory serves me right the suit had its white beta covering too...

divemaster
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posted 10-11-2004 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may be correct about the condition of the pressure garment.

In conversation, Dot told me of her frustrating attempts to locate the suit for the museum. In e-mail, she told me that "The outside of Walt's suit was completely taken off along with all the connections and hoses. You can still see it is a space suit, but it is the inside." and "Are you speaking about Walt's flown suit that NASA cut up after they returned?" (these are from two different e-mails and are taken out of context).

However, all of her (continuing) work is being done by tracking down the suit serial numbers. Hence, her comment about checking the serial numbers on Dave Scott's suit to see if it's the real deal.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 10-12-2004 03:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Amanda Young, who is responsible for the suit restoration project, told me the two piece suit WAS Walt's flown suit. She was also aware of Dots attempts to track the suit down. It had all the gas and water connectors in place. Whilst the "conversion" was very interesting I could not help but feel a sense of loss when I saw what had been done to an historic garment.

Amanda Young is a great lady who, as you might expect, knows her stuff. She is originally from Britain too; we get everywhere you know. I'm sure if you drop her a line she would be happy to clarify the situation with regards Walt's flown suit.

LM-12
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posted 06-22-2013 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think this A7L pressure suit with a "Roosa" name tag is (incorrectly) identified on the Smithsonian website as the flown suit worn by Stuart Roosa on Apollo 14. It is not the CMP version of the A7L suit. Compare with launch day photo KSC-71P-87.

LM-12
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posted 06-23-2013 05:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mensax:
The helmet isn't right ...

Maybe Dave Scott did not know that the "Apollo 15" lettering was added to the helmet sometime after the flight. The lettering is discussed in another thread.

KSC-72PC-347 is another shot of Cernan wearing Scott's flown Apollo 15 pressure suit in training. Compare with the suit photo in the second post.

Dave Scott's flown Apollo 15 suit number is PGA 315.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-23-2013 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a revival of a very old thread (2004); the questions about Dave Scott's suit were resolved years ago with the National Air and Space Museum and Scott — the suit is indeed the one he wore on the Moon and the one Cernan wore to train. The stains on the suit are from the latter, and the patch is a replica.

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