Apollo-era NASA Technician Costume Replica

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Mike J.

Master Member
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Since this year (2019) is the big, 50th anniversary year for the moon landing, I got the idea to put together a replica costume of the Apollo 11 NASA 'suit room' / 'white room' technicians.

Major components were as follows:

  • White, surgical scrubs / clean room style hat with circular NASA patch
  • Headset
  • White dress shirt with skinny black neck tie
  • ID tags
  • White jumpsuit / coveralls with 3 patches
  • Black dress shoes

Attached, you can see some shots of the look I was going for.

I had hoped to get this completed earlier (haven't we all?), but I did get it finished and shown off this weekend at Tampa Bay Comic Con.

I'll break down each 'component' in following posts.


-MJ
 

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Mike J.

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Hats off to Larry...

It took me three purchases from eBay to get a good NASA patch I was happy with for the cap. But mine is a vintage, cloth-back patch, and a darn good match to the references. And then I sewed it on crooked the first time, and had to take it off and sew it back on. The base cap itself is a $7 modern, white surgical scrubs cap from Amazon. The period ones appear to be fastened with snaps, as do the coveralls (?). My scrubs cap was a little tall, so I cut the terrycloth 'sweatband' out of the forehead area, and folded that up under about half an inch, and sewed a new hem on the bottom edge (sort of). Mine does have the cheapie tie in the back, but otherwise looks fine.
 

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Mike J.

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Heads up!

Almost everyone at Kennedy Space Center seems to be wearing a tan colored, single ear headset (with the exception of the suit techs, who wear black stereo headsets). These were made by the Roanwell Corporation, as can be seen in some images. (Houston personnel typically wear a Plantronics headset during this time). It is almost impossible to find the correct model & color on eBay – I settled for a similar one, with a different plastic color and mic boom mount.

Mine (from eBay) sadly reeked of cigarette smoke, and so had to be disassembled, washed, rinsed, and repeated a few times. Then it was re-painted, and reassembled with a tiny Bluetooth speaker mounted inside the earpiece, through which I could play a sound clip of the actual Apollo 11 countdown & liftoff. I made some quickie labels on my inkjet printer, and this accessory was ready to go. I opted to remove the longer & heavier cord going to the push-to-talk button and the 3 pin plug.
 

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Mike J.

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Patches the Clown...

The technician jumpsuits have a small NASA patch on one side of the chest, a small mission patch on the other, and a big NASA patch on the center of the back. My back patch (not shown) came from a cheap, nylon drawstring child's backpack. The logo portion was cut out and the edges hemmed. This was later carefully sewn to the suit. The chest patches were made using inkjet printable cloth. Black & white quick prints were made on paper to check for scale, then full color prints were made onto the cloth sheets. These had to be prepared by being ironed, washed, ironed again, and then cut out, hemmed and sewn onto the chest pockets of my jumpsuit. All of this work went relatively smoothly. Below, you can see a photo of my outfit with the completed cap & patches.
 

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Mike J.

Master Member
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And the rest...

My replica NASA employee ID I've detailed elsewhere: Replica 1960's NASA ID. I ended up using a red border for my personal one this time (shown in my first photo above), just to add a bit more color. I also made a replica Apollo / Saturn Area Permit. Printed them out on my desktop inkjet, laminated them, punched the hole at the top, and attached them to vintage ID clips I got off eBay (not exactly the same as the Apollo era ones, but closer than modern ID badge clips).

I had a cheap, short-sleeve white dress shirt from the local thrift store, and paired it with a vintage skinny tie from eBay. My general purpose pair of black dress shoes completed the look.


-MJ
 

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Mike J.

Master Member
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Thank you! The reaction was muted but positive. I'm starting to feel like I'm the only guy who ever shows up dressed like a historical figure to a comic con, LOL. Just a weird coincidence that I did it twice in one weekend; the next costumes on deck are all fictional.


-MJ
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Good to hear!!

At least you didn’t get blank stares like I did when I was reminding a lot of the young people I know of the Moon Landing a few weeks ago :(
 

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