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The crew of Apollo 16. Thomas Mattingly is pictured on the left. Photo credit: NASA/JSC.

Apollo Spacesuit

...worn into space by command module pilot Thomas Mattingly on the Apollo 16 mission to the moon in April 1972.

Number of layers: 21
Weight: 185 pounds

Mattingly inside the Apollo spacecraft. Photo courtesy of NASA.

The Apollo spacesuits, also known as extravehicular mobility units (EMUs), were designed to protect astronauts from the main dangers in space: extreme temperatures, depressurization, radiation and micrometeoroids. The spacesuit includes a one-piece undergarment that contains over 300 feet of plastic tubing and serves as a cooling and ventilation system. All suit functions are monitored and regulated from a control board mounted on the chestpack. The suit's backpack provided up to eight hours of oxygen.

The Science Center's Apollo Spacesuit
Mattingly on his spacewalk. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot on the Apollo 16 mission in April 1972, wore this suit on a spacewalk to collect film from outside the spacecraft. Other members of the Apollo 16 crew included John W. Young (commander) and Charles M. Duke, Jr. (lunar module pilot). The suit is on loan from the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Apollo Spacesuit Links
How Spacesuits Work

This site from How Stuff Works provides amazingly detailed information about spacesuits and their components (including photos), as well as the history of spacesuit development and some predictions about suits for the future.

Project Apollo: Extravehicular Mobility Unit Gallery
The highlights of this site include images and NASA diagrams of Apollo spacesuits. The site's author has also added original drawings that show how the suit used inside the spacecraft is adapted for use outside the craft and on the surface of the moon.

Apollo XVI
This NASA site offers links to learn more about the Apollo program, as well as specific information about the Apollo 16 mission and crew. Don't miss the images taken during the mission, including photos of the astronauts collecting samples from the moon's surface and images of Earth as seen from the moon.

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