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  Vance Brand's Apollo A7L/B spacesuit TMG layer

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Author Topic:   Vance Brand's Apollo A7L/B spacesuit TMG layer
spaceflightinstitute
unregistered
posted 09-15-2012 01:30 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Our non-profit organization just got an Apollo thermal micrometeroid garment (TMG) from NASA. The TMG is from an A7L/B spacesuit, and it has Vance Brand's name on it. We are trying to figure out what mission it was made for.

It is an A7L/B, and it is in the Command Module Pilot (CMP) layout. Vance was the backup CMP for Apollo 15, so we are thinking it may be from there. It has no patches on it other than his name. Does anyone have any ideas how we can tell what it was made for?

Does anyone know how much it would be worth (for insurance purposes)? Finally, does anyone know where we can buy replica connectors for the TMG, as only one is still attached?

LM-12
Member

Posts: 1064
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-15-2012 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a chart of Apollo suit numbers on this webpage from the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. I do not see S/N 403 on the list for Brand as backup CMP on Apollo 15 or as CMP on ASTP.

Brand was also the backup CDR on the last two Skylab missions, but the astronauts wore the EVA version of the A7LB space suit on all three Skylab flights.

spaceflightinstitute
unregistered
posted 09-15-2012 04:32 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. From the dates of suit 402 and 404, the suit appears to date from March-April 1972. I think I have figured out the where the suit came from. Vance was the CMP for the cancelled Apollo 18 mission to Copernicus.

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 3174
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-15-2012 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceflightinstitute:
Does anyone know how much it would be worth (for insurance purposes)?
Was this actually loaned from the National Air and Space Museum or NASA, or acquired via the GSA?

spaceflightinstitute
unregistered
posted 09-15-2012 08:11 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We were awarded it through a NASA Program administered by GSA. The spacesuit will be displayed in a spaceflight museum opening 2013 in Maryland.

DG27
Member

Posts: 28
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 09-15-2012 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on the serial number (403) your TMG is a series 400 TMG which were “new build” A7LB CMP suits for the later Apollo missions.

Previous A7LB CMP suits were “converted” A7L EVA suits (To save money NASA converted some existing suits which reduced the number of A7LB CMP suits they needed to buy). The conversion consisted of removing the multiple water connector located on the upper left of the crew’s chest (since the CMP did not require use of the LCG), and installing a plate on the suit pressure garment to seal the hole in the suit. A new TMG was built for the suit. The “converted” suits still retained the dual set of gas connectors (2 blue inlet and 2 red exhaust) so the CMP could perform deep space EVA if needed. Your TMG appears to be one of the few which NASA did buy directly in an A7LB CMP configuration.

In addition, your TMG has been modified to match the configuration of the 800 series TMG which were built for the ASTP. Thus its last use was probably for training in preparation for the ASTP. The ASTP crew all wore “new build” 800 series suits on the ASTP mission.

Since the ASTP crew would not be performing any EVA, they did not need the dual set of gas connectors. So the 800 series of A7LB suits built for ASTP only had a single set of gas connectors (one blue inlet, one red exhaust just like the early A7L CMP suits). However all the crew wore this configuration of suit on ASTP. In addition, since they would not be exposed to the thermal extremes of EVA, the number of insulation layers in the TMG was changed, and the cover over the urine collection connection on the upper right thigh was deleted.

On your TMG, you can see that patches have been sewn over the holes where the second set of gas connectors were removed from the suit (this was done to make it look like an 800 series TMG for ASTP training. In addition the cover on the upper right thigh over the urine collection connector has been removed. The UTC cover was sewn to the TMG at the bottom with the sides and top of the cover held in place by a series of snaps with strips of Velcro running between the snaps. On your TMG you can see the reinforcing discs were the snaps were once attached to the suit as well as the dual set of stitching marks running between each snap where the Velcro was removed from the suit. This was also done to mmake it look like an ASTP suit.

Sometimes NASA reused suits in training for different crewmembers if they were the same size. This was not done very often but it did happen. Thus they would change the name tag on the front of the suit. Normally the name is also on the suit label which would indicate who the suit was originally built for. If there are no other labels in the suit, check inside the lower arm TMG for a small label. There may be a name along with the serial number. Check the foot TMGs as well.

Also, check the inside of the TMG where the front name tag is sewn to the suit. If the name tag is stitched all the way through the TMG, then it was added after the TMG was made which would indicate a name change. Normally the name tag is sewn to the outer layer of TMG fabric before the layers are assembled into a TMG.

If the front name tag is sewn only to the outer layer then it most likely was originally built his use on the later (cancelled) Apollo missions. Then it was converted for his training use on ASTP.

Hope this helps.

spaceflightinstitute
unregistered
posted 09-16-2012 08:53 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, you helped a lot. The name tag was only sewn to the outer layer of the TMG. I found Vance Brand's name on the lower arm segments, so this was originally his Apollo 18 suit modified for ASTP training.

I am still looking for some dummy or real Apollo suit connectors to make the suit look better on display, in case anyone knows of a source. I am also hoping to find out what this might be worth for insurance purposes...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29337
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-16-2012 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm on travel so I do not have the catalogs or results handy, but I recall Christie's auctioning an Apollo TMG (A7L) and I believe Regency-Superior or Aurora Auctions selling an A7L/B TMG.

spaceflightinstitute
unregistered
posted 09-17-2012 04:33 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to all!

cv1701
Member

Posts: 31
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 09-30-2012 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cv1701     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a picture of Brand training for ASTP. The TMG he is wearing in this picture may very well be the one in your possession.

I've been unable to locate any other pictures of Brand suited for ASTP training. All of the other images I have are of him wearing his flight suit.

As for dummy connectors, the Kansas Cosmosphere's Space Works can replicate pretty much anything (they did the suits for "Apollo 13"). Also, Guard-Lee could fabricate them (the replica Armstrong/Aldrin suits by the lunar module at the National Air and Space Museum were done by them).

To continue the discussion about Brand's suits, here is a TMG at the Evergreen Museum that was labeled as being ASTP training.

All times are CT (US)

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