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  Kansas Cosmosphere: Apollo 11 spacesuit gloves

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Author Topic:   Kansas Cosmosphere: Apollo 11 spacesuit gloves
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29412
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-29-2007 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kansas Cosmosphere release
Cosmosphere to jettison gloves worn on the Moon

Cosmosphere returns Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's gloves

In one giant leap, mankind traveled to the Moon. With one small step, an American astronaut made history.

Neil Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crew mate, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon in July 1969.

Some mementos of that historic landmark remain, though few are displayed to the public, said Chris Orwoll, Cosmosphere president and CEO.

Four such artifacts, Armstrong and Aldrin's space gloves, are on exhibit in the Apollo Gallery of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center's Hall of Space Museum.

But not for long, said Meredith Miller, the museum's Collections Manager.

The gloves, on loan from the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, will be returned to the Smithsonian when the loan expires at the end of the year. The gloves will likely go off display Dec. 10.

"Not only were the gloves worn by two of the most well-known astronauts in history," said Jim Remar, Cosmosphere senior vice president, "the astronauts wore them while making man's first steps on the surface of the Moon."

The pressure gloves, made of neoprene rubber, were made from casts of Armstrong and Aldrin's hands, allowing for a perfect fit, Miller said. They are also marked with the astronauts' names.

"The gloves literally fit 'like a glove,'" Miller said. "Their purpose was to maximize movement of the wrist and enhance grip control while also protecting the pressurization of the space suit."

Though important to the astronauts' safety, the gloves were also fragile. A small tear in either pressure glove could result in decompression of the suit and possibly death. Work gloves were worn over the pressure gloves for protection.

Because neoprene rubber disintegrates at a faster rate than most materials found in space artifacts, the gloves will be preserved in the Smithsonian's vaults once returned.

The Cosmosphere earned the right to display the gloves when named the first affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in December 1998. The gloves have been on display since June 1999.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2268
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-30-2007 12:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are displayed very well at the Cosmosphere under great lighting conditions. Looking at these real articles next to some of the replica suits that the Cosmosphere has on display, one can appreciate the level of accuracy that the replica suit makers at the facility have achieved with their stuff (even before they became a Smithsonian Affiliate).

Falcon109
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Posts: 14
From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 11-30-2007 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Falcon109   Click Here to Email Falcon109     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They look to me like IVA, not EVA gloves.

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 569
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 11-30-2007 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are the gloves that held the air pressure, the white EVA gloves with the blue silicone fingertips were worn on top of the black gloves.

Falcon109
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From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 11-30-2007 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Falcon109   Click Here to Email Falcon109     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The IVA and EVA gloves were separate sets.

onesmallstep
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Posts: 651
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 11-30-2007 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any chance they would make a facsimile of the gloves and/or substitute another pair of moonwalker gloves? I've never been to the Cosmosphere so I'm not familiar with their inventory. Also, how far along is the deterioration of other artifacts and their possible restoration/removal?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29412
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-30-2007 09:33 AM     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 Falcon109:
They look to me like IVA, not EVA gloves.
Indeed, these were the IVA gloves worn by Armstrong and Aldrin during the descent and ascent to and from the lunar surface.

The EVA gloves remain at the National Air and Space Museum (as of last update, Armstrong's were moved into the preservation vault with his spacesuit while Aldrin's remains on display).

spaced out
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Posts: 2702
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-30-2007 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The pressure gloves, made of neoprene rubber, were made from casts of Armstrong and Aldrin's hands, allowing for a perfect fit, Miller said. They are also marked with the astronauts' names.
Here's an unusual image of the casts mentioned above, scanned from an old magazine article.

ejectr
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Posts: 1519
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 11-30-2007 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are they keeping these artifacts in a preservation vault until a display with a preservative atmosphere is built for future display or are they never being displayed again?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29412
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-03-2007 01:36 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 ejectr:
...or are they never being displayed again?
Per the Smithsonian, the IVA gloves are being reunited with their suits. For the immediate future, they will be kept in environmental storage with inner and outer support to "let them rest". Moving forward, they may be displayed with their spacesuits, but only one at a time, i.e. either Aldrin's or Armstrong's spacesuit will be on display but never both at the same time (so as to give the one not on exhibit a chance to be preserved).

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