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Author Topic:   Apollo spacesuits on display
Flying Dutchman
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posted 06-27-2007 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are all the suits worn by the twelve moonwalkers back on earth and on display?

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 06-27-2007 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back on earth yes... on display no. I do not know the current status of all the moon suits but the majority are in archival storage at the Garber facility in Washington D.C.

I am sure there will be someone on cS who will be able to give you a concise list of which suit is where.

thump
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posted 06-27-2007 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buzz Aldrin, Gene Cernan and Dave Scott's are on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Neil Armstrong's was taken off display from the NASM for conservation and has not been put back on display as of yet.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-27-2007 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All 12 suits are the property of the Smithsonian Institution.

According to their website, the EVA suits worn by Aldrin, Cernan and Scott are currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

Until recently, the same list included Armstrong's suit, which as mentioned by Jim, indicates it was moved into archival storage for restoration.

I believe Schmitt's suit, as the most complete and in best condition of the 12, is permanently in storage to be preserved for future study.

Duke's suit was recently on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center, but according to the Air and Space Museum's website, may no longer be there.

According to A Field Guide for American Spacecraft, Conrad's suit is on display at Space Center Houston; Shepard's is on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton; and Mitchell's is at the Swiss Museum of Transport & Communication in Lucerne, Switzerland.

That leaves just Bean's, Irwin's and Young's spacesuits' location(s) unknown, and all three may be in storage by the Smithsonian.

Scott
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posted 06-27-2007 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recall seeing a news story on a website a few years ago which showed Young's suit stored horizontally on a rack, above and below some other lunar suits. I don't recall where the suits were, but Robert or Rick may know the location based on that description.

I am certainly curious to know where Bean's suit is. One of my very first memories is gazing up at it as a 3-year-old after museum school classes at The Fort Worth Children's Museum (where FW-native Bean had designated it be displayed back then). I asked on cS once or twice in the past but no one seemed to know.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-27-2007 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The racks you remember Scott, fit well with a description of the Garber facility as seen here.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 06-27-2007 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Irwin's suit was at Garber in 2003 and I believe it still is. I seem to recall Cernan, and Scott's suits have been on display at the NASM or in the case of Scott's suit, Langley for many years.

The racks shown are in the Garber suit archive in Washington. I don't know when that particular photo was taken but in all likelihood the red striped suits are likely to be Shepard's and Young's... by a rather imprecise process of elimination.

...and there is the slightest hint, judging by the oblique view of the connectors on the suits that Shepard's is the suit on the top rack in the linked photo.

ejectr
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posted 06-27-2007 06:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw Shepard's suit on display covered with moon dust and dirt at the Hampton Virginia Space Museum at Langley in 1973. They had it propped up standing on a moon scape with moon scenery from Apollo photos in the background. It was out in the open and it was close enough to the edge of the display that you could actually touch it.

dtemple
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posted 06-27-2007 08:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
I am certainly curious to know where Bean's suit is.
I thought I saw Bean's suit at the Ft. Worth Museum of Science about 10 years ago.

FutureAstronaut
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posted 06-27-2007 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FutureAstronaut   Click Here to Email FutureAstronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember seeing something on TV a few years ago with Aldrin at the storage racks as shown above. His suit was in storage at the time.

I found this on Wikipedia about Irwin's. It shows it on display at NASM in late 2004.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-27-2007 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apologies, it was Irwin's suit that I saw (and photographed) at the Udvar-Hazy, not Duke's as I earlier wrote. According to the National Air and Space Museum's list of major artifacts on display, it is no longer there.

FutureAstronaut
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posted 06-27-2007 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FutureAstronaut   Click Here to Email FutureAstronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I don't think Irwin's is there any longer. I went during the summer of 2005, and it wasn't there.

Jurg Bolli
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posted 06-29-2007 12:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having grown up a few yards from the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland I have seen Mitchell's suit many times, but it has not been there anymore for quite a few years. I believe it was also recalled by the Smithsonian.

Scott
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posted 06-29-2007 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dtemple:
I thought I saw Bean's suit at the Ft. Worth Museum of Science about 10 years ago.
Thanks! I'm glad to hear they still had it then - and likely still have it. (To avoid confusion for anyone reading this, "Fort Worth Children's Museum" is the old name for the Fort Worth Museum of Science.)

Matt T
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posted 06-29-2007 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd certainly check before assuming Bean's suit is still in Fort Worth. Many of the long-term loan suits were recalled by NASM in the last 3 - 5 years as part of their preservation program, and not all were returned.

Does anyone know if Anders' flown Apollo 8 suit is still at the London Science Museum following the revamp of the space gallery?

ea757grrl
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posted 06-29-2007 09:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At one point Charlie Duke's lunar suit was on display in a case at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC (since Duke is SC's own lunar astronaut). However, I haven't been to that museum in about four years, so I can't say if it's still there or not. I do have distinct memories of seeing it, though, and marveling at the dust that was on it.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 06-30-2007 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend of mine was at the Science Museum approx six weeks ago and the Anders suit is still there.

Steve Procter
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posted 06-30-2007 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Procter   Click Here to Email Steve Procter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know anything about Dick Gordon's suit being on display at Jodrell Bank. I gather it was some time back but is it still there. Is it/was it the suit as opposed to a suit (if you get my meaning)?

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 06-30-2007 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Gordon suit was removed some years ago. I cannot recall whether it was his flight suit or not. I do recall that sometime between my first and last sighting of the suit... the helmet went missing.

mikej
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posted 07-01-2007 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently returned from a vacation which took me to the Udvar-Hazy Center on June 20, NASM in DC on June 21, and the Virginia Air & Space Center on June 22.

I can confirm that the Aldrin, Cernan, and Scott suits were on display at NASM, and that Armstrong's was not.

Irwin's suit was on display at the UHC (although I would not be able to determine whether it was his flight suit or a training or backup suit).

I did not see any space suits whatsoever at the VASC. They have apparently been remodeling and have recently opened their "Space Gallery." I spoke with one of the staff, who said that some exhibits in the new gallery had only been put up earlier in the week. I also saw some unopened crates marked "NASA." So, Shepard's suit may still be there, but temporarily off display.

Choose2Go
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posted 08-14-2007 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Choose2Go   Click Here to Email Choose2Go     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tracking down suits has been very frustrating for the Field Guide, and I'm sure there are still a few errors for current locations. Suits are much more mobile than spacecraft, and have been recalled on a moments notice by the NASM. This is necessary for preservation, and in some cases (like Armstrong's) they are not returned. I'll try to report more as I find it. BTW, any current sightings of Bean's A12 suit in Ft. Worth?

FutureAstronaut
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posted 09-16-2007 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FutureAstronaut   Click Here to Email FutureAstronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw Irwin's suit at the Udvar-Hazy Center two days ago.

Kevmac
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posted 09-18-2007 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Irwin suit at Udvar-Hazy is his actual suit worn on the moon.

robsouth
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posted 09-19-2007 01:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a photo I took of Anders's spacesuit during my last visit to the Science Museum.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 09-19-2007 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Though most are not flown, its worth noting that there is a huge cache of suits at the USSRC in storage. Here are some recent images I shot (saw between 50-75 while there). These are State of Alabama owned.

Grissom, White and Chaffee's suits:

Gordons backup flight suit:

A7L gloves galore:

Armstrong's training helmet:

MCroft04
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posted 09-19-2007 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kevmac:
The Irwin suit at Udvar-Hazy is his actual suit worn on the moon.
And with lots of moon dust.

Matt T
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posted 09-20-2007 02:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for those USSRC photos Scott - do they have a gift shop?

Interested to hear that they're not on loan from the Smithsonian - were they specific on that point?

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 09-20-2007 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Love the photos Scott. But I think it evident the artifacts are NOT on loan from the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian is pretty strict about the methodology used in storing or displaying such items. The condition in which these items are bring stored, in particular the A7L gloves, is not what the Smithsonian would consider best practice. In fact, enclosed in polythene bags will do more harm than good in the medium to long term.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 09-20-2007 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No... as indicated in the initial post theses suits were remitted to the Alabama State Govt (directly from NASA MSFC) and are not Smithsonian/NASM property - handoff was prior to enactment of NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 4310.1 which codified artifacts turnover to Smithsonian (or at least to provide the institution with first right of refusal). USSRC did consult with NASM on preservation and exercised some of there recommendations but cost preclude replication of the full range of conservatory practices in use at the Garber Facility.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 09-20-2007 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LCDR Scott Schneeweis:
USSRC did consult with NASM on preservation and exercised some of there recommendations but cost preclude replication of the full range of conservatory practices in use at the Garber Facility.
Understood Scott and thanks for the clarification. If nothing else they should remove the gloves from the plastic bags. It will cost them nothing but may extend the life of the silicone glove content.

Jay Chladek
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posted 09-20-2007 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering who the Apollo suit that Space Camp used back in the 1980s was tailored for? This particular suit was an A7L kept on site in a clean room. For the level 2 class, 1 lucky camper with the closest measurements would get the opportunity to wear it in order to demonstrate to the other campers what it is like to wear one. I knew each astronaut from the program had three suits (flight, training, backup) but the counselors were mum on which suit it was.

A former boss for a hobby shop I worked for was a Space Camp counselor about a year before I got there and worked at the Space and Rocket Center a few years prior for a summer job before he went to MSC and he thought it might have been one of Pete Conrad's suits (for Skylab perhaps?) due to his somewhat diminutive stature. It didn't look like a suit used for NBL training either. Just curious.

Other bits of hardware made it into private hands on donation from NASA facilities back in the 1970s prior to NPR 4310.1 as well. This is the reason why the Block 1 Apollo capsule located at the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland, NE still has its title owned by the University of Nebraska. The Smithsonian had nothing to do with the title transfer at all.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-20-2007 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
For the level 2 class, 1 lucky camper with the closest measurements would get the opportunity to wear it in order to demonstrate to the other campers what it is like to wear one.
At least when I went to Space Camp (rather than Academy, I or II) in 1987, every member of our team was permitted to try on the suit and have their photo taken wearing swimming in it. I wish I still had that photo...

Henk Boshuijer
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posted 09-22-2007 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back in 1983 I visited "Le Bourget" in France and there was Lousma's Apollo-era spacesuit on display. I would like to find out where it is now.

BMacKinnon
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posted 10-02-2007 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMacKinnon   Click Here to Email BMacKinnon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember watching a show on the History Channel called Save Our History and one episode was about saving Apollo.

They went to Garber and Buzz was there to look at his suit that he hadn't seen in a long time. I am not sure which one it is.

They also visited JSC and during the restoration of the Saturn V and the Kansas Cosmosphere to check on the restoration of a Lunar Rover Test vehicle.

The show also includes a visit with Gene Cernan at JSC and Gene Kranz in Misson Control.

Here is the address to the History Channel website and that episode. Check out the images and videos!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 10-04-2007 06:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Henk Boshuijer:
I would like to find out where it is now.
Jack Lousma's A7LB Skylab flown suit currently resides in the NASM collection at the Garber facility.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-15-2009 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alan Shepard's A7LB training suit is now on display at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, occupying the space where the Apollo 14 command module previously sat (Kitty Hawk was moved to the Apollo-Saturn V Center).


Photo credit: Brian Sherman

music_space
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posted 08-17-2009 12:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't recall which suit it was, but at Orlando's International Airport, they have two science-related stores, each having a spacesuit. A manager told me that one was a replica, and the other was a bonafida one, either a test article or a training one.

I could find the pictures I took then.

MCroft04
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posted 11-16-2009 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During my visit to Kennedy Space Center prior to the Astronaut Autograph and Memorabilia Show I noticed that the Apollo 14 command module and Alan Shepard's lunar suit have been moved to the Apollo Saturn V Center. The suit is located in a glass case, but not sealed. I sent an inquiry to the National Air and Space Museum asking if this was appropriate and received a prompt response today. See below.
On the matter of Alan Shepard's Apollo 14 spacesuit and its display -- Yes, you are correct, the ideal conditions for the suit would be in a sealed case with climate and environmental controls. We store our collection of suits that are not on display under these conditions. Unfortunately, if we demanded this level of climate control for each of our suits one loan, it would be prohibitively expensive to our borrowers and none of the suits in our collection would ever be on public display. As a compromise between serving the public and preserving the suits, we limit climate requirements for display to strict climate controls within the facility overall. Each borrowing institution must submit documentation demonstrating that the temperature and humidity levels within their institution does not exceed our specifications. We have similar requirements on both visible and ultra-violet lighting for our displays. In addition, all spacesuit loans have a 10-year limit, at which time they return to the museum and our conservation staff does a detailed assessment of their condition. So in answer to your question, the conditions under which you saw the suit in Florida were not ideal, but they still meet our stringent requirements for public display.

MCroft04
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posted 11-16-2009 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to be clear, the display reads "This suit, which was used to walk on the moon, is one of 3 custom-fitted..." So unless this is incorrect, it is not Shepard's training suit pictured above.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-16-2009 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mel, after your telling me about the Shepard suit and case I had a chance to speak with the exhibit's curator this past Sunday.

The case may have openings but it is designed with a positive air flow, therefore dust and other particles cannot enter the case with the suit.

According to the curator, the Smithsonian oversaw the installation of the suit.


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