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  Sunglasses and eyeglasses in space

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Author Topic:   Sunglasses and eyeglasses in space
Philip
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Posts: 4945
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 05-22-2006 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Randolph engineering sunglasses were worn since the Gemini-era by NASA crews.

Silhouette 'Titan Minimal Art Space' glasses are worn by astronauts on shuttle missions. These glasses are Austrian-made and don't even have little screws to hold everything together. Each astronaut got five of those!

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 05-22-2006 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like this picture of John Phillips on Expedition 11 - between the granny glasses, the gray hair, moustache, and puffy face from weightlessness, this shot makes it look like Wilford Brimley is taking a spacewalk!

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
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posted 05-22-2006 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm.... funny that American Optical (AO) advertises that Apollo 11 wore their "Original Pilot" sunglasses to the moon if Randolph claims to have been the supplier since the Gemini days.

Personally, I was issued a pair of AO's by the Navy in 1969.

Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 06-06-2006 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, were those straight ear-bars sunglasses Randolph or Ray-Ban or AO... is there a website anywhere which could clear this out?

ejectr
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posted 06-06-2006 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mine were paddle temple AO.

AO claims that Apollo 11 took their original pilot model to the moon as this ad states:

In fact, the Original Pilot Sunglass was honored to be the first ever sunglass to be brought up to the moon with the crew of the "Eagle" lunar landing in 1969. It was subsequently featured in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.
I believe theirs were also paddle temple.

Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 06-14-2006 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The design of American Optical's and Randolph Engineering's aviator sunglasses certainly almost look the same.

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
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posted 06-14-2006 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Randolph since 1982... not in the '60's.

Also, Navy pilots have a directive NOT to wear anything but AO glasses because of the natural light lens. If anything else is used under their pull down sun shield on their helmet and looking through a tinted canopy, loss of visual acuity will occur due to the several layers of shading and polarization.

I'll email my son at Edwards AFB and see what he was issued.

ejectr
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posted 06-14-2006 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From my son at Edwards AFB:
Randolph Engineering makes them for the Air Force, I don't know about the Navy. I actually don't have AF issue sunglasses, I just use the visor.

Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 04-21-2008 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are Pete Conrad's sunglasses flown to the Moon on Apollo 12.

Lou Chinal
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From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 04-21-2008 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The American Optical sun glasses that Mike Collins wore on Apollo 11 are still on display at the National Air and Space Museum. They are the same type I was given.

GeminiXII
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posted 10-21-2008 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GeminiXII   Click Here to Email GeminiXII     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was fortunate to bid on and win Jim Lovell's glasses case from the Apollo 13 flight and was wondering if anyone knew exactly where he may have carried them. The Apollo 13 stowage list states that it was "on" the astronaut.

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
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posted 10-23-2008 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The sunglasses were carried in a dedicated pocket on the upper right arm of the A7L space suit, and on the inflight coveralls.

By the way, I must ask the obvious question with regards the case you bought... just where the heck are Jim's sunglasses?

GeminiXII
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posted 10-30-2008 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GeminiXII   Click Here to Email GeminiXII     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wrote Jim Lovell and inquired about the whereabouts of the sunglasses. You were exactly correct about where the glasses case was stowed.

Lovell stated that it was too bad that he didn't keep the glasses but he didn't specify exactly where they ended up. He stated that he transferred the case to his inflight suit and that only when the sun was in the vicinity of the window did he ever wear his sunglasses.

I guess we may never know where they ended up.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-16-2010 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SciAm: Space Spectacles: NASA Evaluates Adjustable Astronaut Eyewear
NASA is evaluating a new type of adjustable eyeglass lens called TruFocals for use during training and on missions. For the past six months NASA has been taking TruFocals (made by Van Nuys, Calif.–based Zoom Focus Eyewear, LLC) through a detailed certification process to ensure they are not only a better option than other types of eyeglasses but that the materials used to make them will not pose a hazard to astronauts in their enclosed work environs, says C. Robert Gibson, a senior optometrist at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

spacefan JC
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From: UK
Registered: Jun 2010

posted 08-31-2011 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacefan JC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just ordered a pair of American Optical Original Pilot sunglasses, in silver with grey lenses. I understand these were used in Apollo (as shown by Collins' in NASM) and they changed to Randolph in 1982.

Can't wait for them to arrive to have a pair of sunglasses as issued by NASA for Apollo.

Crew cut and chinos now to complete the look... Just need a beta cloth case!!!!

Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 04-01-2013 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the little museum of the NASA DSN Tidbinbilla near Canberra, Australia, I noticed a display entitled "Aussie Eyes in space" about special eye wear designed by Australian optician Dr. John Colvin.

It looks like these glare reducing sunglasses were used during the Apollo and Skylab project... can anyone acknowledge?

E-mail me if you want a photo of the display!

Chariot412
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From: Lockport, NY, 14094
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-01-2013 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chariot412   Click Here to Email Chariot412     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just checked my old Air Force pilot issued sunglasses from the 1980's and, yep, they're the gold A.O. By the way, the air force stopped issuing the gold and switched to dull silver sometime in the '90s if I remember correctly.

Mike Dixon
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From: Kew, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 04-01-2013 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Philip:
At the little museum of the NASA DSN Tidbinbilla near Canberra, Australia, I noticed a display entitled "Aussie Eyes in space" about special eye wear designed by Australian optician Dr. John Colvin.
There was an optometrist in Melbourne who definitely supplied sunglasses to both Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon for G12.

Can't remember his name, but he proudly displayed a signed picture given to him by the crew, together with the story behind the development of the glasses in his store window.

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