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  Skylab Flight Garments

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Author Topic:   Skylab Flight Garments
Larry McGlynn
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From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 06-02-2007 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could use some help with a couple of questions about the tan Skylab flight garments used on station.

What is the name of material that the tan flight jackets and pants were made out of?

Are there any links that are directly related to the flight garments used on Skylab (I have already been to the general Skylab sites)?

Who was the manufacturer of the garments used by the astronauts of Skylab?

I am not looking for the EVA spacesuits, I am looking for information on the tan flightsuits that they wore in the station itself.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 06-02-2007 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a Skylab Experience Bulletin (No. 6 / JSC-09540) - entitled Space Garments for IVA Wear that would likely have those answers but it has been pulled off the Nasa NTRS server... provided nobody else on forum holds a copy I can initiate a query via alternate means for the source document if you pulse me Monday.

space1
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From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 06-02-2007 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe it was PBI (polybenzimidazole), a fabric similar to Kevlar and Nomex.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-02-2007 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John is correct. The following was earlier posted by David Hitt to another thread:

From "Homesteading Space," the forthcoming Skylab history from the Outward Odyssey series from the University of Nebraka Press:

Eventually, the Skylab astronauts all agreed on a clothing set. It contained cotton T-shirts for warm weather wear, and provisioned a change of underwear every two days and of outerwear once a week. The outerwear was made of a fireproof cloth, polybenzemidazole (called PBI; "We couldn't pronounce it either," quipped Kerwin) that only came in a golden brown. But it was comfortable. Rejected were the proposed small-bore fiberglass (called "beta cloth") items, which itched.
And from PBIGold.com:
PBI was originally developed for the United States Air Force after a fire aboard an Apollo spacecraft killed three astronauts in 1967. The Air Force selected PBI because its superior thermal performance provided more burn protection than competitive fibers. NASA used PBI as part of the astronauts' clothing on Apollo, Skylab and numerous space shuttle flights. PBI became commercially available in 1983, when the production plant went on stream.

Matt T
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Posts: 1356
From: Chester, Cheshire, UK
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-03-2007 01:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Welson Co. were the manufacturers, as they had been for the Apollo flight suits and many Apollo EMU accessories.

Regarding materials another element of the inflight garments, the T-shirt, was made from Durette.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 818
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 06-03-2007 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were the garments disposed of after their use?

Matt T
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From: Chester, Cheshire, UK
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posted 06-04-2007 02:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Circumstantial evidence suggests that at least some of the flown items were returned, as they have appeared in recent auctions.

Additionally I believe the Smithsonian holds several sets of these garments, flown and otherwise.

Larry McGlynn
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From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 06-04-2007 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, so used Skylab garments were stowed away after use for return of Earth.

Matt T
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Posts: 1356
From: Chester, Cheshire, UK
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-04-2007 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to split hairs but without knowing offhand how many sets each crew member took I'd go with "some were stowed away for return".

Drop me a mail offline Larry if you think it might help to share any of the specifics of your query.

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