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  Spacesuits for early Apollo missions

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Author Topic:   Spacesuits for early Apollo missions

Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 06-04-2013 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw this photo showing Stafford, Young and Cernan, the Apollo 2 backup crew, wearing Block 2 Pressure Garment Assemblies (colored blue, without the external white thermal layer) participating in a fit and function test with a command module at North American Aviation (NAA) in Downey.

The date was Jan. 26, 1967, and of course the tragic fire on Pad 34 was just the next day. My question is: given the suits worn by the Apollo 1 crew, are the spacesuits shown in the photo (especially the helmets) the models scheduled to be used after Apollo 1, and is that crew's suits unique to that mission?


Posts: 20
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 06-05-2013 02:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The decision to use A1C suits (derived from the Gemini suit design) for the Block I spacecraft was due to continuing issues with the shoulder width of the Apollo suits. Despite efforts to get everything to fit, the suits were still too wide for the Block I spacecraft. (The photo shows how the arms of the adjacent suits overlapped one another when A6L suits were used in the Block I spacecraft).

Thus a decision was made to defer use of the A6L Apollo suits to the Block II spacecraft and use the A1C suits in the Block 1 spacecraft for Earth orbital missions. Thus it is my understanding that all missions utilizing the Block I spacecraft would use the Gemini derived A1C suits beginning with the Apollo 1 mission.

The photo does show the configuration of the suit (blue without the TMG) that would have continued to be used for lunar missions had the tragic Apollo 1 fire not occurred. The TMG for lunar EVA would have been donned prior to exiting the LEM (see related TMG topic here).


Posts: 427
From: NSW, Australia
Registered: May 2005

posted 06-05-2013 02:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Obviousman   Click Here to Email Obviousman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm guessing they are A5L suits.


Posts: 19
From: Washington, DC USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 06-28-2013 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kocmoc   Click Here to Email Kocmoc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are ILC suits, not David Clark suits. Look closely at the logo on the right hand of the left seat. The gloves on the center seat are clearly ILC Apollo gloves. Lacking the TMG cover on the gloves makes them likely A5-L gloves.

And the bubble helmet is the Air-Lock helmet, not the modified G$-C helmet from the A1-Cs.

My money is on A5-Ls.

Cathleen S. Lewis


Posts: 792
From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 06-29-2013 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A5L suit for sure.

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