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  Neil Armstrong's Apollo A7L/B spacesuit

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Author Topic:   Neil Armstrong's Apollo A7L/B spacesuit
Henk Boshuijer
Member

Posts: 398
From: Netherlands
Registered: May 2007

posted 12-30-2012 11:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This week I visited Kennedy Space Center and I saw Neil Armstrong's A7LB suit on display. Then a lot of questions popped up in my mind... what is the story behind this suit?

Did they produce this suit after the Apollo 11 mission? Was Armstrong already assigned to another mission? Was it just standard procedure that all current astronauts got the newest model spacesuit?

Are there any pictures of Armstrong wearing this suit?

dragon001
Member

Posts: 47
From: Allentown, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 12-31-2012 12:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragon001     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neil Armstrong had an A7LB? He announced he did not plan to return to space, and in fact left NASA in 1971.

The Apollo 11 suit would have been an A7L, and custom tailored for the astronauts.

The A7LB was used beginning with Apollo 15. See this.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2792
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 12-31-2012 06:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some years ago an A7L TMG layer, or part there of was sold at auction; that had an Armstrong name tag. Without going through all my old auction catalogues I could not be more specific but it pre dates 2003.

The item amused Amanda Young, curator and restorer of the suit collection at the National Air and Space Museum Garber institute.

It was her understanding that there was a suit tech or test subject by the name of Armstrong and she believed the item in question referred to him and not Neil.

This may account for the A7LB Armstrong suit sighting.

stsmithva
Member

Posts: 1537
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 12-31-2012 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember Ms. Young mentioning that "Armstrong" suit at a book talk at NASM a year or two ago. Henk, was there a museum-made sign describing it as Neil Armstrong's, or did your sharp eyes notice "Armstrong" in the suit? Did you take a picture?

Henk Boshuijer
Member

Posts: 398
From: Netherlands
Registered: May 2007

posted 12-31-2012 06:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw the N. Armstrong nametag on the spacesuit. I thought it was strange to see this kind of suit with Armstrong's name on it. And yes... I took a picture.

I will try to post a picture later.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-31-2012 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you are referring this suit display, inside the Early Space Exploration Gallery at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:

If so, that is identified as a mockup by A Field Guide to American Spacecraft.

LM-12
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Posts: 1241
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 12-31-2012 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "N. Armstrong" name tag differs from the surname-only "Armstrong" name tag that you see on the real Apollo suits. It looks pretty good though for a mockup.

Henk Boshuijer
Member

Posts: 398
From: Netherlands
Registered: May 2007

posted 01-02-2013 05:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It actually is the spacesuit in the picture that Robert posted. This mockup looks very real (unlike a lot of other mockups). Even from a very close distance this suit looks real. Thanks Robert, another mystery solved.

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 1086
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 01-05-2013 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was a photo of Jim McDivitt a while back with the name tag of "J McDivitt". I seem to remember the date as 1971. I've seen Neil's back-up suit, it also just says "Armstrong", there is no "N".

Rick Mulheirn
Member

Posts: 2792
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 01-07-2013 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is an oblique view of Armstrong's backpack on the lunar surface. The name tag states "N. Armstrong" in red lettering.

For what it is worth, the suit in the photo above appears to be genuine. It is, in my opinion, a mock-up in as much as it has been mocked up to be an Armstrong suit when the likelihood is Neil did not have a A7LB suit.

All times are CT (US)

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