Apollo Space Suit
In the Apollo project, the development of spacesuit was an important subject, too.
Even if they went to the moon all the way, it can't be said they won against the Soviet Union with only taking photos from window.
Spacesuit was another spaceship for Apollo project.
temperature endure to : from -290 to +310 Fahrenheit (from -179 to +154 Celsius)
inner pressure : 3.70 - 3.90 pound / square inch
running time : 7 hours(continuously), 160 hours(total)
weight : approximately 180 pound (all equipments include PLSS)
manufacturer : Space suits : International Latex Corp.(ILC DOVER Inc. at present)
Back Pack (PLSS) : Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corp., Windsor Locks, Connecticut
We must need special made "Space Suit" to protect mankind from hard temperature change, vacuum, micrometeoroid in space.
On the moon, it becomes 120 degree Celsius (250 Fahrenheit) at daytime, and -157 degree (-250) at nighttime.
And micrometeoroid pours in 102,400km/h(64,000mph), exposed in harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.
So, we can not live in space for only few seconds without Space Suits.
Space suit in Mercury project, it was improved product from pressure suit of U.S. Navy high altitude jet fighter.
This was not complete airtight suit. This was back up for spacecraft's pressurization.
In Gemini project, joint mechanism was developed for bend arms and legs in pressurized environment by U.S.Airforce's research.
It had a combination of a pressure bladder and a link-net restraint layer that made the whole suit flexible when pressureized.
In Apollo project, it must have to offer protection from jagged rocks and the searing heat of the lunar day.
And had to be flexible enough to permit gathering samples from the moon surface.
The space suit used for Apollo project was called A7L / A7LB.
The head character 'A' means Apollo project. Second character '7' means model number. Third 'L' means manufacturer.
In Apollo project, from earlier A1C to last A7LB, 15 types of space suits were developed.
Type A6L suit was used at Apollo One, but because of fire, fireproof A7L suit was developed and used from Apollo 7.
Then after Apollo 15 (J mission), more improved A7LB suit was used.
This suit was used even SkyLab, ASTP projects.
After that, A8L type was developed but not used.
In Apollo project, all space suits were fully tailor-made, made for each astronauts, used it once and then throw.
And 15 suits were made in each mission.
One for actually misson, one for training, one for spare for each primary crew, so 3 x 3 = 9 suits.
Then for each back-up crew, one for actually misson, one for training, so 2 x 3 = 6 suits.
So, they become 15 suits all together.
Against that, space suits for space shuttle are reuseable because of functionallity of changing size by replacing each parts.
At NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, many parts which can combine about 50 suits are stocked now.
Many company are making each parts, and it's structure will be change by each misson,
so it's very difficult that calculate price of one space suit.
One day, some news media reported that it's cost was about 2 million dollers.
It becomes more than tat when it used at once like Apollo.
Inner space suit was made by 20 to 21 layered special material developed by Du Pont company.
These are type of nylons and new material called Kapton film.
And the most outside was covered by Teflon coated glass fiber beta cloth.
For reflect sun heat and keep comfortable temperature, suit was colored as white.
Form Apollo 13 to 17, captain wore red belt on elbows and knees.
Apollo space suit was formally called 'Pressure Garment Assembly (PGA)'.
And the full set of suit include life-support system was called 'Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU)'.
100 percent oxygen was provided in this PGA.
In Apollo project, PGA was used in two different form.
One is 'Intravehicular:IV' form called 'CMP A7LB PGA'.
Another is 'Extravehicular:EV', on the moon or out of spacecraft, called 'EV A7LB PGA'.
CMP A7LB PGA was worn by command module pilot(CMP).
EV A7LB PGA was worn by commander(CMD) and lunar module pilot(LMP) on the moon surface.
And in SkyLab project, improvement model of EV A7LB PGA was used.
In the knee, wrist, shoulder, elbow, ankle, thigh region of CMP A7LB PGA, special made joints were integrated for bend easily in pressurized circumstances.
And for EV A7LB PGA, in addition to these, neck and waist joints were integrated.
The center of the back, from neck to thigh, restraint and pressure-sealing zippers was provided on CMP A7LB PGA.
Astronaut donned space suit from here.
EV A7LB PGA has entrance zippers extend from the left side of the waist, around the back to the right side of the waist,
and diagonally up to the right chest area of the suit.
Astronaut oneself can handling these zippers, but normally colleague operate this.
Intravehicular suits include following units.
|fecal containment subsystem|
|constant wear garment||underclothes|
|biomedical belt||sensor to collect biomedical informations|
|urine collection transfer assembly||urine collecting unit|
|torso limb suit assembly(TLSA)||body of space suit|
|integrated thermal micrometeoroid garment(ITMG)||pressure skin|
|pressure helmet||cover astronaut's head|
|pressure glove||cover astronaut's hand|
|communications carrier||make comminication with Houston|
Extravehicular Mobility Units was composed by remove constant wear garment from Intravehicular suits and add following 5 units.
Torso and Limb Suit Assembly (TLSA)
|liquid-cooling garment||underclothes cooled by liquid|
|lunar extravehicular visor assembly(LEVA)||wear on the pressure helmet|
|lunar extravehicular glove assembly||wear on the pressure glove|
|lunar overshoe||wear on the boots of TLSA|
|cover which fits over umbilical connections|
The skin of space suit was layered from this TLSA and outer ITMG.
TLSA is three layered, and covers all of body except head and hand. And connected with helmet and gloves.
The body part of TLSA was custom made for each astronaut.
The torso part was selected from some fixed size unit.
In this TLSA, oxygen duct and electrical cables for communication were integrate.
A pressure gauge to measure pressure in the suit is installed on the right wrist.
And an exhaust valve for exhaust oxygen when the pressure go over 5.5psi is installed on the left wrist.
Integrated Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (ITMG)
This outer ITMG is for insulate heat and micrometeoroid, and connected to extravehicular visor, lunar overshoe.
This is made by seven layered aluminized Kapton film, six layered Beta Marquisette, two layered Neoprene-coated nylon Ripstop, sandwiched between beta cloth.
The knees, elbows and shoulders were protected by Chromel-R.
On the left upper arm, a pocket for pens and penlights is stitched.
And on the right upper arm, a pocket for sunglasses, on the right upper thigh, there is a utility pocket.
On both legs, strap on pockets for data-list (left) and check-list, scissors(right) are stitched.
On the back, for avoid wear with PLSS, Teflon patch was stitched.
|right upper||blue||electrical,biomedical and communication connector|
|right middle||blue||oxygen inlet|
|right lower||red||exhaust outlet|
|left upper||blue||double water connector|
|left middle||blue||oxygen inlet|
|left lower||red||exhaust outlet|
Left and right oxygen inlet / outlet are alternative.
This helmet was made of polycarbonate (plastic), and connected to TLSA by aluminum pressure-sealing neckring.
This helmet was fixed to spacesuit, and do not move while astronaut moves his head.
There is a feed port on the left side to connect air valve.
A vent pad was contained on the back.
lunar extravehicular visor assembly(LEVA)
This visor assembly containes two visors, two side eyeshades, and a center eyeshade.
The outer sun visor employs a gold coating to reflect sun heat and light.
And the inner protective visor is transparency, and coated for obstruct running heat away.
These visors and shades are adjustable.
Lunar overshoe was made from the same material with ITMG.
Metal-woven fabric or Chromel-R forms the outer shell of the boots to resist high lunar surface temperatures.
Then silicone rubber sole was consisted.
This boots are slip-on assemblies put on over the ITMG.
pressure glove & extravehicular glove
Two type of gloves, 'Intravehicular:IV' and 'Extravehicular:EV' are provided for each PGA.
This glove were formed to fit each crewman's hand.
Pressure glove is made from one layer rubber. and outer gauntlet and palm restraint system is added out of this.
Extravehicular glove was worn over the pressure glove.
This is covered by Metal-woven fabric or Chromel-R, and the fingertips are fitted with silicone rubber caps.
This outer glove extends over the pressure glove - TLSA juncture.
A life-support system for APOLLO is approximately 26kg in weight. and called Apollo Portable Life Support System (PLSS).
Oxygen was supply from this System then keep astronaut's life for about seven hours continuously.
1.05 pound oxygen was housed in 46.6 square ibch tank with 900 psi.
Oxygen was supply from Inlet gas connectors to helmet directly with temperature of 7.2 - 10 degree Celsius (45 - 50 degree Fahrenheit).
And directed through ducts to the exhaust gas connectors with temperature of 26.6 - 29.4 degree Celsius (80 - 85 degree Fahrenheit).
The impurities in the exhaust gas are removed by PLSS, then used for breathe again.
It passes through a canister containing deactivated charcoal and lithium hydroxide, which absorbs the carbon dioxide and purifies the gas.
Liquid Cooling Garment (LCG) is also donned under the space suit.
It consists of a nylon Spandex material which supports a network of Tygon tubing through which water from the PLSS.
Water or coolant is put through from PLSS, absorb body temperature, refrigerated in PLSS again.
Two 16.8 volt battery provided electrical power. These battery were 4 pound weight each.
The upper part of PLSS houses emergency oxygen tank and communication unit.
Astronaut can extend life time for 30 minutes with this emergency oxygen tank.
A life-support system used by SkyLab project was called Skylab Astronaut Life Support Assembly (ALSA).
REMOTE CONTROL UNIT(RCU)
Astronaut wore this REMOTE CONTROL UNIT on his chest for control PLSS, communication system, electric power system.
All equipments include PLSS were controled by this RCU.
Space suit in movies
Space suits in movies are all imitation for film, not rent from NASA.
In the movie "APOLLO 13
", space suit was made by SPACE WORKS
And in "FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
it was made by GLOBAL EFFECTS INC.
Space suits for you
Why don't you buy your own space suit.
Feel on lunar surface with it.
- Walk Around Replica Space Suit ($12,500.00)
- Buzz Aldrin Life-Size Standup($34.95)
- Deluxe Lunar Space Suit ($1399.95)
- Shuttle Space Suits ($349.95)
- Shuttle launch and entry suit for kids ($44.95)
- Little Astronaut Set ($94.95 for kids)
- Rental Space Suits for movie
or Apollo Spacesuit Replica
[Book] Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection
powerHouse Books 2009/5/26 USD19.77
[Book] US Spacesuits
Springer-Verlag 2006/1/31 USD39.95
The authors will provide both the reader with an appreciation of spacesuits and US suit efforts, through development challenges to their role in space exploration. The text will explain how the routine use of clothing provides a link to the function of spacesuits and why spacesuits are far more than garments. They are a last refuge for survival in disaster or a personalized spacecraft that allows direct contact and interaction with everything beyond our world. Successfully meeting the challenges to creating safe, reliable and comfortable spacesuits is an ongoing effort that has spanned over four decades.
The book will detail the technical evolution of U.S. spacesuits from their roots in high altitude aviation and vacuum tube development to the present day, with an additional look into the future. This primary source of spacesuit information will explain the function, historical development, and use of spacesuits from a worldwide perspective in a readable way.
The story includes many technically and historically interesting efforts that never reached flight, and were either misunderstood or not widely reported.
[Book] Russian Spacesuits
Springer-Verlag 2003/8/27 USD39.95
Russian spacesuits is a unique contribution to space science. The authors, part of the original Zveda team that manufactured spacesuits for the first Russian space flights, still play an integral role in spacesuit research and development. Thus there is no-one better to describe the technical innovations of the past 40 years, which enabled Gagarin's first flight in 1961, the first space walk in 1965 and the Mir missions of the 1980s and 1990s, and which have culminated in today's International space Station. The authors also describe how the political climate within the Soviet Union and internationally has affected the development of the space programme and their work. Many documents are published for the first time that, together with photographs, detailed descriptions of the events of the time and the authors' personal memories, provide a fascinating review of a previously unknown aspect of space science