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Neil Armstrong Apollo A7L Glove | by jurvetson
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Neil Armstrong Apollo A7L Glove

I picked up a couple of interesting artifacts in the Bonhams space auction: one of Armstrong’s Apollo A7L space suit gloves and a pristine Russian scramjet engine that’s taller than me.

 

This glove was ssued to Neil Armstrong with his Beta cloth tag and part number. The A7L space suits were sized to each specific astronaut and the gloves were based upon plaster hand casts. The glove was formed from a single-wall restraint and bladder structure fitted to the crewman's hand, over which an outer gauntlet and palm restraint provided structural support. The section of beta cloth at the wrist increased flexibility and dexterity for astronauts operating controls during flight.

 

“Neil Armstrong would have worn this glove while participating in Apollo mission training simulations” — Bonhams

 

There is another one in the Smithsonian

 

Details: A7L Intra-Vehicular Glove, International Latex Corporation, late 1960s, rubber/neoprene-compound bladder with articulated fingers with an additional support layer that can be tightened by black nylon strap with light blue velcro closure, cuff in white Beta cloth and with revolving blue anodized aluminum disconnect ring. Printed on Beta cloth: "Part NO. A7L-103000-(315?) 19 / SIZE N. ARMSTRONG / SERIAL NO. 133 / CODE 74897 / ILC INDUSTRIES, INC." and written in pen around cuff: "CLASS III / NOT FOR FLIGHT" and "133" in red pen. With Beta cloth tag sewn along length of cuff reading: "ARMSTRONG."

 

The International Latex Corporation won NASA's 1965 Apollo Block II competition with their AX5-L for a spacesuit that would be advanced enough to comply with the needs of the Apollo program. Their suit incorporated a BFG rubber pressure sealing zipper for the best gas retention, "father of the space suit" George P. Durney's walking brief and thigh restraint system, and had an improved glove with steel cable and multi-directional wrist joint (NASA).

 

The A7L (A for Apollo; 7 for seventh in the series; and L for ILC Industries) was a version of that suit. The suits were sized to each specific astronaut and the gloves were based upon plaster hand casts collected (see lot 25 in our July 20, 2016 Space History auction). The IV Glove was formed from a single-wall restraint and bladder structure fitted the crewman's hand, over which an outer gauntlet and palm restraint provided structural support (NASA). Both this restraint and the section of beta cloth at the wrist increased flexibility and dexterity for astronauts operating controls during flight. Beta cloth was an innovative fire-resistant fabric used by NASA after the tragic Apollo 1 disaster. Neil Armstrong would have worn this glove while participating in Apollo mission training simulations, which replicated the IV glove he would have worn during flight.

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Uploaded on October 1, 2017