Published May 29, 2019
DAYTON, Ohio -- Overhead view of the Model A7L Space Suit and Model A7LB Extravehicular Mobility Unit reproductions and the Apollo 15 Command Module on display in the Space Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.(U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Model A7LB Extravehicular Mobility Unit reproduction on display in the Space Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.(U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
This Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) allowed a crewman to
work on the moon for up to seven hours.(U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Apollo 15 commander USAF Col. David Scott salutes the US flag on the moon in 1971.(Contributed photo)
What’s inside: Underneath the white insulation covering, the A7LB suit was a complex collection of cables, pulleys, flexible joints, various fittings, and the pressure-retaining bladder.(Contributed photo)
The Apollo model A7LB was the ultimate moonwalking suit. This Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) allowed a crewman to work on the moon for up to seven hours. The suit’s red stripes identified the mission commander. This one represents the one worn by US Air Force Col David Scott in July 1971 on Apollo 15, the only moon landing mission with an all-Air Force crew.
The A7LB was more flexible than earlier suits and had a spiral entry zipper around the waist and back instead of straight down the back as in earlier suits. The 212-lb EMU (35 lbs in the moon’s 1/6 gravity) let astronauts move about easily, touch the ground, and drive the lunar rover.
The backpack, built by Hamilton Standard, carried oxygen and pumped cooling water through a network of small tubes sewn into astronauts’ undergarments. It also contained emergency oxygen, batteries, and a radio with an antenna. The outer helmet assembly was a series of coated visors, shades, and insulation that fit over a clear bubble helmet.
Like other Apollo suits, this one had a very complex inner system of joints, pulleys, cables, and a pressure bladder. The version shown here had 22 thin layers of insulation and pressure-retaining materials that slid easily over one another like bags within bags. The suit’s blue fittings were oxygen, water, and electrical connections; the red fittings were gas outlets. The box on the chest controlled the backpack. The gloves and boots featured woven stainless steel fabric, and the boots had silicone rubber soles.
This suit is a reproduction and is on display in the museum's fourth building.
(Video) Space Suits Lecture from museum historian Dr. Doug Lantry
Click here to return to the Space Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
Additional information about our COVID precautions available here
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)