Apollo A7L Jim Lovell's Moon Suit, Pro Shots Added July 16, 2014!

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.


DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I grew up wanting to be an astronaut. My hobby before going to college was building amature rockets, and today I build rockets for a living in Huntsville. I never grew out of this phase, and with everything going on with commercial I still plan to go to space in my lifetime.

There has been a lot going on that revitalized my intrest in space. I visited both Air and Space museums in DC this spring, and the news has been filled with reports about shuttles, space jumps, and mars rovers. While I am still interested in rocketry, I have been reading up on the history of pressure garments and how to say alive up there, and I figure a wearable cosmetic suit is a good starting point for hands-on research.

The first piece I started working on is the bubble helmet, as I dont have any means to make one from scratch. Living in Huntsville, a co-worker who collects space artifacts provided what we believe is a traing helmet from the Apollo days.


IMG_0276 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0277 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

The helmet was in really bad shape as it was being thrown out when my co-worker got it. It was full of grim, scratches, and the paint on the back was peeling off. The first thing I did was give the helmet a good polish using a drill press and headlight restoring kit.


IMG_0280 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

The old paint was then sanded off, and the back repainted with gloss white (a really apollo helmet is clear all the way around, but there is no good way for me to make the back look like the rest of the helmet.


IMG_0285 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0288 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Using Muslin, I made a template for the back padding (what ever was in this helmet before was lost to time) and then made the final one out of white cotton and batting.


IMG_0293 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0301 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0302 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Next I'll be working on a duct-tape manaquin so I can start working on the torso layout, and converting a pair of long johns into a liquid cooling garment.
 
Last edited:

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit

Made some progress on the liquid cooling garment this week. I started with a pair of thermal underwear, added a zipper to the top and sewed the two halves together to made one garment.


IMG_0304 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0306 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0308 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Tonight I started to map out the tygon tubing that will carry the collant using yarn. The tubing will be tightly weaved into the garment, and connect to a manifold fed by a pump in the PLSS pack.


IMG_0309 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0311 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr
 

DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit

After I made the layout with yarn, I realised I needed more tubing to stay true to the original and help keep my body temperature down, so I opted to weave tubing between each track as well.

The tygon tubing was run through using a large needle and carefully wraping a layer of tape around it to provide a taper. If I had heat shrink tubing that may have been a little easier.


IMG_0317 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Regardless, I pushed on and wove 150 feet of tygon tubing into the liquid cooling garment. The tubing was then grouped in pairs until I had one 1/4" inlet and outlet tube. The coolant is ice water recirculated with a pump from a cooler. the final cooler will be diffrent on the final suit, but it works great. After testing the garment on the manaquin I tried it on and had to turn the pump speed down a bit so I wouldn't be freezing. I still need to add a pouch for the large feed hoses, but I am very happy with how this came out and will start building up the torso very soon.

Some more build up pictures:


IMG_0318 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0319 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0320 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Hooked up to the cooler:

IMG_0324 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Converging tubes on the front:

IMG_0325 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Main feed tubes:

IMG_0326 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Guide thread removed:

IMG_0327 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0328 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Felgacarb

Sr Member
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Yikes- great work so far.

I still want to be a astronaut too, so I'll be watching this build closely!
 

Hoxtilicious

New Member
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Oh my god. I have been working on an Apollo A7L for the past 2 years as a hobby, and I am simply stuck on the 2 biggest things; The interlocking rings (for the gloves and the helmet), and... the helmet. I first of all don't know where on earth I could find something that resemble the rings used in the arms and helmet as the seal or how to make one, and secondly, I don't know what to do for the helmet itself and that's one of the biggest challenges I'm facing.. Any suggestions?
 

DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Oh my god. I have been working on an Apollo A7L for the past 2 years as a hobby, and I am simply stuck on the 2 biggest things; The interlocking rings (for the gloves and the helmet), and... the helmet. I first of all don't know where on earth I could find something that resemble the rings used in the arms and helmet as the seal or how to make one, and secondly, I don't know what to do for the helmet itself and that's one of the biggest challenges I'm facing.. Any suggestions?

Im planning to work with some of the machinist where I work and fabricate the rings and hose interfaces myself, then have them anodized the appropriate colors.

As far as the helmet, I got lucky that I know a guy who can let me use this one. I have no idea how to make one from scratch without a blow molding system. The EVA overhelmet will lock onto this and will mostly be vacuumform pieces.
 

Hoxtilicious

New Member
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Im planning to work with some of the machinist where I work and fabricate the rings and hose interfaces myself, then have them anodized the appropriate colors.

As far as the helmet, I got lucky that I know a guy who can let me use this one. I have no idea how to make one from scratch without a blow molding system. The EVA overhelmet will lock onto this and will mostly be vacuumform pieces.

Ah I see. Well, I guess I'll just have to either keep looking around or hit up ebay/amazon as a last ditch resort lol

And you sunuvagun, did I mention how dang lucky you were to find a guy who had an Apollo training era suit component? I mean, those things are usually in museum displays now, and your buddy said it was getting thrown out?? haha anyway, best of luck and I hope you keep us updated! I would love to see the end result, looks like you've got it going here :)
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Conqueror_Worm

Well-Known Member
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Really cool project, I can't wait to see what you end up with!
Have you seen this pdf? It seems to be a fairly complete history of pressure suits.
 

DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

I just recently picked up this project again after walking away from it a bit, so I figure it is time for an update.

My original plan of using metal rings and a working LCG have fizzled; work is swamped so none of the machinist have time to give me a hand and while the LCG works great I havent found a way to comfortably support the 20 pounds of water needed for it to work.

In stead Im shifting more to a masquerade form going for something accurate in apperance but at the same time affordable and wearable. That way I will be more likely to finish and wear the thing.

First big change is cooling. Instead of the LCG, I am going to include a cooling vest underneat as part of the padding. This is the same approach I used on Subject Delta.


IMG_0474 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Next task was the helmet. I started off by creating a template for the solar visor and working my way out.


IMG_0476 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0477 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

When I was confident I had the visor big enough I made another foam skeleton for the Outer shell


IMG_0478 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

The gaps on the outer shell were filled with great stuff, then sanded to the right shape and covered with bondo. Next step will be to shape the neck area with clay then make a mold.


IMG_0481 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0483 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0500 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

The foam template for the solar visor was used to build a vacuum form buck using MDF and foam.


IMG_0487 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0492 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0498 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

For the neck ring I used a foam circle to act as a mold for the fiberglass inner ring, then the part you can see (when the helmet is off) is made of MDF. Later I will add magnets to hold the helmet on.


IMG_0497 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0499 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

cls

New Member
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

This is great. I'd like to make this same suit, so everything you post is a huge help.
 

DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

I had to take a break for a little while due to eye surgery, but Im trying to pick this up again.

I made the mold for the EVA shell and casted up the shell from fiberglass. The EVA visor was then vacuum formed and temporaily installed inside. It moves great.


IMG_0531 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0530 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0535 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0536 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0537 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0538 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

I also started the lip for it out of wood and fiberglass.


IMG_0544 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

The helmet is going to be held on to the neck ring via magnets. Cooling is accomplished by a fan in the back of the helmet.


IMG_0543 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0545 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

IMG_0546 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

Stay tuned…
 

chameloon

Active Member
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Thanks for update, I will follow this post with attention. Looks very promising!
 

DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Another quick update

I suck at sewing. That said I spent the last few weeks playing around with jumpsuits and batting to figure out how to build the suit itself. The solution that worked was to modify a rothco to have larger shoulders and put in two layers of batting everywhere, plus two more in the arms. What you see here is just muslin. The final suit will be made of rip stop nylon.


IMG_20130518_161540_982 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_20130518_161427_782 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr
 

DarkJedi1500

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Apollo A7L Pressure Suit (Jim Lovell's Moon Suit)

Made some very good progress on the helmet recently.

We pulled the EVA visor with our 14 x 14 vacuum former. It JUST fit, but it worked out great


IMG_20130506_192308_535 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

For the Bubble helmet, I molded the helmet, pulled a cast, then made a vacuum form buck for the front and a fiberglass support for the back. This keeps my head from touching the visor when it is up.


IMG_0555 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0587 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

The visor was then tinted with gold paint, and the lip attached with hot glue. The over shell was then covered with batting and rip-stop nylon (this is where making all those deadmau5 heads really paid off). With the fabric on the three components were then assembled into the base helmet:


IMG_0579 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0586 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0589 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0590 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0591 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0596 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


970152_10102527405520890_1117580237_n by 2StoryProps, on Flickr

For the connectors I used a trick I learned when building my Portal Gun 2.0 (I stole it from Volpin's Portal gun build as well) I made the positive from MDF and apoxie sculpt with a plug the same diameter as a piece of 1.25" tubing. I then made the mold, and casted pieced with a tube in side so the core remains hallow.


IMG_0566 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0568 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr


IMG_0578 by 2StoryProps, on Flickr
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top