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  NASA flight gear: flight suits and jackets (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   NASA flight gear: flight suits and jackets
Wilkerson
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posted 06-04-2003 01:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wilkerson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I own a few of the pale blue and the gold NASA flight jackets and flight suits. These are not reproductions but are from an old USAF collection. Anybody have any knowledge of these items and where I can learn more?

ALAIN
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posted 03-20-2007 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ALAIN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know a source for these blue NASA jackets (with small black collar) seen here or the desert tan jacket (with small black collar) seen here?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-20-2007 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe they are available from Gibson & Barnes Premiere Outfitters: Classic Uniform Jacket

keelerphoto
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posted 08-16-2007 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for keelerphoto     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photos of the astronauts in there blue flight suits and black high top tennis shoes... does anybody know who supplied them, who made them?

The flight suits in the mid-1960s were made by Foster Originals (black pockets). The mustard flight suits were made by Kings Point and the late 60s flight suits were made "Flite Wear" by Land MFG co.

p51
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posted 09-18-2011 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought one of the Alpha Industries blue flightsuits you can get in the giftshop at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex but I've noticed a few differences between it and the crew used later flightsuits. Does anyone know if someone can but one of the NASA ones?

I don't want a flown suit (they're only used for training anyway and I know they don't take them on the shuttle) but would like to put together the right kind of one for a display.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

p51
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posted 10-05-2011 11:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My primary hobby is collecting US military stuff from the WW2 era. But I've always had a soft spot for US flight jackets after 1942, so naturally I document what I can when I see it. A recent trip to Kennedy Space Center got me close to some amazing examples. I decided to post them just for the heck of it and maybe get a discussion going. I really hope to get my mitts on a real NASA jacket someday, but not the early light blue "disco" one...
Wally Schirra:

Pete Conrad:

Owen Garriott:

John Young:

p51
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posted 10-05-2011 11:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob Crippen (issue boots and helmet liner in the foreground):



I love Crippen's "Navy" take on the later NASA patch here!



Deke Slayton's A2:

I have plenty of other such photos from NASM and places like that, I need to dig them all up as well.

p51
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posted 10-05-2011 11:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found this photo online of Tom McMurtry and the 747 transporter. I really like these jackets but had never seen photos of this type before.

328KF
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posted 10-06-2011 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
I really like these jackets but had never seen photos of this type before.
As was mentioned above, NASA's current supplier is Gibson and Barnes, which also goes by the name Flight Suits, Ltd. The jacket in that photo is an example of their "Classic" uniform flight jacket.

Aside from the color, this is the same one worn by the astronauts today.

Now the jacket worn during the early to mid-90's is a little more difficult to track down. I believe these first showed up with the STS-29 mission, but didn't last long. Bruce McCandless still wears his at appearances, but I've never taken the opportunity to ask him who made it.

Maybe some of our UK members who are going to Autographica could ask?

KSC-97PC-0257

Greggy_D
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posted 10-06-2011 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
Aside from the color, this is the same one worn by the astronauts today.
I think a minor difference is that the current issue NASA jackets do not have flaps over the main pockets. If I recall, they have zipper closures. Take a look at this pic.

I could be wrong though.

328KF
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posted 10-06-2011 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The version you talking about is Flight Suits' Guardian design. It is essentially the same in design and construction except for the zippered pockets.

These were the standard throughout the mid to late 90's when the Classic was phased in. Look at some pics from the STS-95 crew post-flight and you will see a mix of the two. Today, the flap pockets seem to be the standard issue.

You won't see these as part of the in-flight gear, but the collared version I posted the pic of above was used onboard when they first came out.

Now aside from flight suits and jackets, if you want to get some authentic in-flight gear, you can go shopping at Cabela's and pick up their hiking pants... NASA buys these right off the shelf!

Greggy_D
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posted 10-06-2011 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Guardian design appears to have vertical pocket openings. The pic I linked above appears to show diagonal zippered openings.

p51
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posted 10-06-2011 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
As was mentioned above, NASA's current supplier is Gibson and Barnes, which also goes by the name Flight Suits, Ltd.
I had actually posted that on a totally different thread as I hadn't seen this one before. Some moderator efficiently folded two of my posts into this thread. Whoever that is, I thank them.
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
Take a look at this pic.
Interesting photo. I couldn't get past the difference in footwear. Christer Fuglesang (the ESA crewman to the right) looks like he's wearing civilian boots. Robert Curbeam (far left) is wearing the standard "brown shoe" worn by Naval Aviators ever since the rest of the Navy transitioned to a black shoe. Mark Polansky (on the mike) looks like he's wearing his old issued boots. Even my much ragged jungle boots from my Army days don't look that bad, hasn't this guy ever heard of shoe polish? I never paid much attention to footwear before, but this photo was interesting to me in that regard.

Bill Hunt
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posted 10-07-2011 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since we're on the topic, what color does NASA specify - Royal Blue? And where to they get flightsuits and shoes from?

328KF
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posted 10-10-2011 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill, the current color, since about the time of STS-30, is royal blue. The suits were a slightly darker shade prior to that. I have in my collection a NASA-issued suit that is somewhat darker blue than the nomex flight jacket, but the shades vary greatly in photos depending on lighting, etc.

As mentioned above, you can find all of the current issued NASA gear at FlightSuits.com.

Bill Hunt
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posted 11-03-2011 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, 328KF! Much appreciated.


p51
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posted 11-03-2011 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Royal blue NOMEX flight suits aren't that tough to find but they don't come cheap unless they're midget sizes. A good google search will turn up a few, but usually 100-200 each, even used.

I have recently discovered that the USAF academy cadets wear a jacket that looks a lot like NASA ones and can be found on eBay really cheaply. Do a search and you'll see what I mean, but they're all small sizes...

I assume many of you noticed the President has his own crew jacket now?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 11-03-2011 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just as difficult to find are the powder blue flight suits used in the beginning of the shuttle program. I remember buying one in the mid-'90s, but don't remember who made them as I no longer have the suit.

Harder still are the powder blue jacket - the one with the ribbed shoulders - and trouser combination. I remember a photo of Bill Nelson selecting one to wear from a rack of them and wishing I could do the same. I had one which purportedly was a replica made for an unknown movie production, made out of cotton, which was extremely heavy. That, too, I no longer have.

Greggy_D
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posted 11-07-2011 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hart, the early 80's shuttle Launch/Entry Coveralls (flight suit) and also the jacket/pants were made by ILC Space Systems. Did you own a flown Launch/Entry Coverall?

I would disagree the jacket/pants are harder to find since I've seen a few examples in collections, but they are still extremely rare. I own the Launch/Entry Coveralls that were auctioned off last year by the ASF. Some of you may have seen it this past weekend down at the KSC show. I do not know of another Launch/Entry Coverall out there in the "wild".

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 11-07-2011 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nope, not flown. The powder blue flight suit (one-piece) I got from a sci-fi convention about 15 or more years ago. The two piece jacket was a replica.

I pointed out in another thread that Indonesian alternate Taufik Akbar's L/EC were originally made for Hartsfield, the tag having red slashes through it. Perhaps this was a flown or training version that was downgraded to training or further used for additional training?

Greggy_D
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posted 11-07-2011 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the Launch/Entry Coveralls were recycled (mine included) from flight to flight. Charlie Walker and Sam Durrance both told me that NASA reclaimed the suits after each flight and put them back in the rotation for reassignment.

I think the red slashes indicate that the suit was downgraded to Class III (training). In the example you listed, most likely Hartsfield wore that suit on 41D before it was reassigned to other flights and then downgraded.

The 61E suit I have does not have the red slashes and maintained a Class I status.

mack77
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posted 01-14-2012 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mack77     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of days ago I came across a Kings Point mustard flight suit with a NASA patch hanging in a pawn shop in Texas. I suspected it was legit so I picked it up at a really good price. Condition is very good to excellent except the left sleeve is missing the zipper slide.

I was wondering when these were in service and what they were used for. Also are they worth much?

moon lander
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posted 02-12-2012 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moon lander   Click Here to Email moon lander     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wilkerson:
I own a few of the pale blue and the gold NASA flight jackets and flight suits.
Do you still have the flight jackets you mentioned in your post?

moon lander
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posted 02-12-2012 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moon lander   Click Here to Email moon lander     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mack77:
A couple of days ago I came across a Kings Point mustard flight suit with a NASA patch hanging in a pawn shop in Texas.
Nice find, these flight suits were standard issue, along with other colors, during the 1960s. I have seen a number of these sell at a premium over the years but they all came from the personal collections of Apollo astronauts.

Did you find any name tags by the Kings Point tag? Name tags were sometimes sewn to the neck tag to prevent mix ups during dry cleaning. Do you have more pictures of your flight suit? If you do, please share them along with the suit's size. Thanks.

p51
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posted 04-12-2012 11:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have enlarged some of the nameplates on the flight suits and jackets on the SCA 747 crew photo.

Note how several of them are wearing gold wings with the NASA insignia in the center (but some are in silver). Until I saw this photo, I assumed this was a made up design because several companies (including The Space Store, but they're not the cheapest) sell this exact wing setup on nameplates.

Spaceguy5
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posted 04-13-2012 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All the name plates sold by The Space Store and such are made by the same company — Gibson & Barnes, who is also NASA's supplier. In fact, Gibson & Barnes even has that name plate design featured on their website as an example of their cloth nametags and I'm sure they'd make one for you (without any of the extra fees charged by stores like The Space Store) if you asked them.

Astronaut Mark Polansky also has a name plate similar to it, although his has a bold white outline around the Meatball, and of course, the astronaut office symbol embroidered over it.

Mark Polansky

p51
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posted 04-13-2012 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Funny how that last patch shown has the astronaut pin insignia over top of the NASA meatball. I've never seen anything like that before!

Spaceguy5
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posted 04-13-2012 11:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you look closely at crew portraits and other pictures, there's quite a few.... interesting... designs on astronaut's nameplates.

Eileen Collins has a really unique one with a graphic of a landing space shuttle flying past a large 'disembodied' NASA meatball. The usual astronaut wings (which are silver with a yellow astronaut symbol) are smaller and in the top right corner. Her name is printed in the top left corner. Note that it also has rounded edges. Later she had another unique design with the STS-114 patch on it. A few other astronauts (For example, Pam Melroy) also have nameplates based off of her first tag. In fact, Mike Barrat has one that has an image of a T-38 instead of an Orbiter, and what looks like a Caduceus instead of the astronaut office symbol.

Similar to hers, there's a few astronauts who have the usual silver nameplate, but with only the astronaut symbol embroidered in yellow.

Doug Hurley has a nameplate that's based off the usual yellow design, but with a red background instead of blue.

Story Musgrave had one nameplate that didn't have any design on it, just the word "STORY" in very large capital letters.

There's also a few tags that don't have real names on them at all. If you look closely at very high resolution pictures of the middeck on STS-134, there's nameplates saying "SPACEMAN SPIFF" and "RICKY BOBBY" velcro'd to the lockers. I have no idea who goes by Spaceman Spiff, but Ricky Bobby was a nickname that the crew gave to Roberto Vittori.

Spaceguy5
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posted 04-23-2012 04:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting. If you look at the high resolution version of the Astronaut Group 16 photo, Laurel Clark is wearing a nameplate with just the NASA insignia and wings, and no astronaut office symbol at all. She also has a smaller American flag sewn on her shoulder.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 04-23-2012 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would think Hurley's red nameplate is an allusion to his background as a Marine colonel.

p51
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posted 07-02-2012 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At The Museum of Flight today, the Super Guppy crew was there and a couple of them answered some questions about nameplates and wings. One of them who is pilot rated on the Guppy said when they're getting fitted for all that stuff, they're shown a board with several different wings designs and they can pick whatever is there.

He confirmed that generally, former USAF folks pick the silver wings/lettering/border and the former USN types pick the gold. He confirmed that USMC types will either go the Navy colors or do the red/gold of their branch. He couldn't recall meeting anyone former Army to know what they did.

And I spotted John Creighton's suit with the Mach 25 patch:

Spaceguy5
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posted 07-02-2012 12:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting, I haven't seen any suits like that one before. I wonder who the manufacturer was.

It's obvious that Gibson & Barnes is the current manufacturer, and photos from the mid- to late-90's and 2000's show most suits are similar to the current Gibson & Barnes suit (the biggest giveaway is the velcro color and the knife pocket). Some of these were probably also made when Gibson & Barnes went by Flight Suits LTD. However, the suits in the 1990 astronaut group are different (once again, the biggest giveaway is the knife pocket and velcro color).

Chariot412
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posted 07-02-2012 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chariot412   Click Here to Email Chariot412     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a quick note concerning the knife pocket on the leg: The g-suit worn in high-performance aircraft had it's own knife pocket, so the first thing you would do when you got a new flight suit was cut the knife pocket off. Not a bad idea functionally, but it was actually a bit of a "hey, I'm a fighter pilot" statement too.

p51
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posted 07-09-2012 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spaceguy5:
However, the suits in the 1990 astronaut group are different (once again, the biggest giveaway is the knife pocket and velcro color).
Take a good look at the nametapes in that shot. Almost all are leather, many pre-MS wings. I guess that they have the NASA worm on it. Female kneeling second to the left has no name at all on hers!

Spaceguy5
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posted 07-10-2012 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed that too. I also noticed someone (I forget the name) had one of the NASA air crew nametags with just the NASA meatball.

In the 1996 class, Laurel Clark also had one of the air crew nametags, plus she had a small American flag instead of the large one.

Spaceguy5
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posted 07-22-2012 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just noticed something. It looks like Michael Anderson and Laurel Clark wore a Gibson & Barnes Guardian jacket rather than a Classic Jacket.

Meanwhile, Kalpana Chawla's jacket looks very similar to a GB-1. Though, the pockets look slightly different. It looks like the same kind worn by Bruce McCandless that was mentioned earlier in the thread.

p51
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posted 07-22-2012 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting indeed. Also note the use of the Mach 25 patch on one jacket and a leather nameplate on another (not something you see much in NASA anymore).

I've grilled a few astronauts and NASA flight crew people recently on where they get their stuff, and of course most don't recall much other than being asked for specific sizes of stuff and, "It just showed up one day"...

Spaceguy5
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posted 07-22-2012 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On most things, there should be tags inside listing the manufacturer. Gibson & Barnes (Which also used to go by Flight Suits Ltd. Personally I have flight suits that say either on the tags, most from ebay) seems to make most of the flight equipment including flight suits, jackets, gloves, helmets, and I think some nametags. All Gibson & Barnes jackets and flight suits made in the last few years even have a little black tag attached on the outside saying G&B. You can see them pretty clearly in crew portraits and other pictures from the last few years.

I think boots are probably the person's personal taste as I've seen a wide variety of different boots in photographs. Some wear FWU 3/p's or FWU 8/p's (These were made by Addison and used by the air force for a very long time), while others wear types of boots that I can't even identify.

p51
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posted 07-22-2012 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spaceguy5:
I think boots are probably the person's personal taste as I've seen a wide variety of different boots in photographs.
Knowing pilots from the various branches of the military as I do, I'd be willing to bet anyone wearing brown boots is probably Navy, as they pride themselves for wearing that color...

Philip
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posted 07-23-2012 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, as a student-pilot one is cautious what to wear on the name tag... And the boots are military issue, Air Force, Navy and Army Air Corps have their own.

Just check this Mercury 7 photo.


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