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Space Hardware

DAYTON, Ohio -- Space Hardware exhibit in the Missile and Space Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Space Hardware exhibit in the Missile and Space Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Space Hardware, Marquardt Space Sled and Gemini EVA Maneuvering Unit on display in the Missile and Space Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Space Hardware, Marquardt Space Sled and Gemini EVA Maneuvering Unit on display in the Missile and Space Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The effort to operate freely in the environment of space encountered a host of challenges never before experienced in such magnitude by earth-bound humanity. Weightlessness or Zero "G" was one of the most difficult to overcome, and a variety of unique devices were designed and tested to make human operations in space a safe and practical reality. Much of this equipment was developed by the USAF in its facilities throughout the United States and tested in many cases at the laboratories at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 

Experimental Zero "G" Razor
The razor is spring powered and with an attached cloth bag to collect beard trimmings and keep them contained and out of the cabin environment in zero gravity conditions. The design was not very successful and was not adopted for operational use. Common brushless shaving cream did the job without development. 

Space Can Opener
This device was designed to open cans and force food from them. It was developed and tested while the concept of using canned foods in space was being tested in the early days of the manned spacecraft program. 

Magnetic Boots
These boots were used in experiments in zero gravity aircraft flights to determine their utility for space operations. The flights were very brief, lasting less than a minute at best. 

Space Sextant
This sextant was developed to permit astronauts to take angular readings on stars, planets and other visible space objects while moving through space at orbital velocities.

Reaction Propulsion Pistol
This pistol-like device was tested in zero gravity aircraft flights as a means of individual maneuvering in free fall. It was not adopted for further use.

Zero "G" Power Wrench
The problems of reacting to the torques and forces applied by a weightless astronaut under zero gravity conditions led to a series of specialized tools. This battery powered wrench is a direct ancestor of the efficient "cordless" tools common in today's home and workplace.

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