Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Hardware & Flown Items
  Mercury spacesuit helmets: interior liners

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Mercury spacesuit helmets: interior liners
Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 1254
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 04-14-2014 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During the Mercury and Gemini programs, the helmet liners were custom molded to an individual. Does anyone know if the no. 2 was ever used? Or possibly what it could refer to?

DG27
Member

Posts: 97
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 04-17-2014 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gemini and Mercury helmet liners were quite different in their markings. Do you have a photo showing the liner and how the No. 2 is marked?

DG27
Member

Posts: 97
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 04-26-2014 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gemini helmet liners each had a printed tag with the name of the individual the liner was made for.

Mercury helmet liners had numbering written on the top of the liner. If the No. 2 you are referring to is the marking in the helmet for the Mercury suit that sold at Bohnams, the #2 marking you see in the photos is actually written on the inside of the helmet shell, not the liner as that helmet did not have a full helmet liner since it was made as a display suit. The #2 is most likely the number of the display helmet.

Spacehardware
Member

Posts: 106
From: Bolney, West Sussex, England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 11-08-2016 06:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacehardware   Click Here to Email Spacehardware     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have a good photo or information of what the inside of the early Mercury helmets looked like? Amanda Young's book, "Spacesuits," mentions a padded (leather? suede?) lining but there are no images of the inside of the helmet.

The helmets that have appeared at auction seem to be very sparse inside, with just padded ear pieces and nothing else — not even a cloth lining to cover the fibreglass shell. I can even see multiple exposed screw heads for the electrical umbilical. Can't believe this would have afforded much protection.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Joel Katzowitz
Member

Posts: 682
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 11-08-2016 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spent some time with Gus Grissom's Mercury helmet while working on the original incarnation of the Astronaut Hall of Fame. I shot images of most of the artifacts. I'd be happy to dig through my old slides and see what I can find, but it may take a day or two.

Joel Katzowitz
Member

Posts: 682
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 11-10-2016 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These images were originally shot on slide film and I scanned them for you, the quality isn't great but it's all I could do.

Here are several photos of Gus Grissom's helmet. The inventory sheet referred to it as a "flight article" but there seems to be some dispute about that. In any case, I hope these images are useful to you.

DG27
Member

Posts: 97
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 11-17-2016 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are great photos that Joel posted and show the liner that is in the middle of the helmet. The liner is a dense foam rubber liner that is covered on the inside with thin leather. (Regarding the Grissom helmet that Joel shows, it is indeed a non-flight training helmet, as indicated by the type of side-mounted valve.)

Here are some pics that will better help understand the shape of the liner. I have the earphones out of this helmet during restoration which helps give a better view of the liner. The liner in this helmet was never finished with leather so it gives a good view of the liner construction.

You can see from the pictures that although there is exposed hardware on the inside of the shell it is kept well away from the head by the conformal liner. The earphones also act as padding and fill in the open areas on the sides of the liner.

The liner is molded to the inside contour of the helmet shell with cutouts for wiring and earpad suspension. The inside of the liner is molded to the wearer's head. This results in a snug fit onto the head.

Spacehardware
Member

Posts: 106
From: Bolney, West Sussex, England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 11-18-2016 05:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacehardware   Click Here to Email Spacehardware     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for taking the time to respond and for the excellent and very helpful photos.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2016 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement