BOOK GIVEAWAY: Spacesuit–Fashioning Apollo
THE FIRST MEN WALK ON THE MOON!
I remember the day (July 20, 1969) that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their first steps on the moon, and the world watched on TV amazed at the magnitude of what we were seeing. We had seen it many times before, but that had always been TV fiction, not real life! It became the hot topic in media, in offices, and in schools for a long time.
HOW WERE THE SPACESUITS MADE?
In all of the dialogue, media coverage as well as casual conversations, never once do I recall a discussion about how the Apollo spacesuits were constructed. The book “Spacesuit—Fashioning Apollo” (2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology) by Nicolas de Monchaux answers every question you might have about exactly that.
EVEN THE APPOLO MISSION EXPERIENCED DESIGN FAILURES
Nicolas de Monchaux goes into great detail about the suits used in the Apollo missions including the design failures and wonderful successes along the way, and it is fascinating to read about their evolution. The complexity of the project will boggle your mind, and the precision used to make the suits will make all of your sewing challenges seem minor in comparison.
PLAYTEX CORPORATION WAS AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTOR
Most women today equate the name Playtex with bras, but in 1969 the company was equally well known for their girdles. For those of you too young to have experienced a girdle first hand, they were made from latex covered with fabricon (a form of cotton flock). They came in briefs or with short or long legs. They were designed to slim and contour your figure much like today’s Spanx products. The Apollo spacesuit was a 21-layered composite that was actually hand-sewn by the Platex Bra and Girdle company!
A WELL-RESEARCHED HISTORY
The book is an incredibly well-researched chronicle about the Apollo spacesuits and the history surrounding them. Not only does it explore the intricacies that linked the bra company to the Apollo mission, but it delves into the politics, media, and fashion design that all contributed in some way to the launching of the Apollo flights. It explains the design history of the suits, their complexity and their adaptation. It’s like reading the detailed history of the Apollo spacesuits through the eyes of the tailor! It’s not light reading; but it certainly is intriguing.
YOU COULD WIN A COPY!
You could win a copy of this book by leaving a comment on this post. Please tell us if you remember where you were when you learned that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had walked on the moon! If you are too young to remember the actual occasion, what did you think when you first learned about the Apollo mission in school? Comment before 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2011, for your chance to win. One winner will be chosen at random and announced on July 6.
The fascinating book Spacesuit--Fashioning Apollo could be yours!
Astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin on the surface of the moon.
An earlier spacesuit.
Astronaut Alan Shepard's B. F. Goodrich-produced Mercury spacesuit. The Mercury mission brought the first men (including Shepard) into space, but no one walked on the moon until the Apollo mission.
Layer 13 of the Apollo spacesuit