Current NASA flight suit replication (2021 version)

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kurofeadra

New Member
Thanks for the thread. I have two Nomex GB flight suit with NASA patches. I was not not aware of the AB Emblem issue until now. As far as I know from the NASA project I've done research for its federal law for them to procure US made products. However, this means the cost of product is 10x the price of offshore production. Here are the patches from my suit:
patches.jpg

I ordered the left and the bottom patches earlier this year from AB Emblems. The one on the right was ordered 9 years ago, so it looks quite aged. The bottom one is indeed made in the US. If you want to make sure you get a USA made patch, your best bet is probably going to a science museum gift shop or NASA gift shop physically, and will probably cost less as it is AB Emblem policy to sell patches at a higher cost direct on their website than through a gift shop.
 

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ID10T

Sr Member
Those look nicer than what I received for sure, but still not the ones issued to the astronauts.

Yes, NASA gets USA patches, and A-B sets up and runs them when they order them. I'm sure they end up with a few extra, but not many, so they disappear fast.

The cost isn't really the issue, although $60 each is pretty steep, and it's not that they are made in China either. The issue for me is that it is so radically different and shouldn't be (according to A-B). If I'm going through the trouble and expense to get the right suit in the right color, and scrutinizing the other details to try and make it "right", I really want to get the correct items in the first place.

It's frustrating because I'd have had this done by now (well, almost- I don't have my Mach 25 patches yet) and nothing new from A-B emblem...
 

kurofeadra

New Member
CollectSpace has been keeping track off where and when patches are made. There seems to be some variations on patches on the crew itself. My USA one is similar to the recent Crew-3 portrait. I don't think AB Emblem only turn up the US machine for NASA, they just don't have USA made patches in stock at the moment.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
According to my conversations with A-B, they do not stock USA meatballs. I guess, if you happened to order right after they filled an order for NASA, you might be shipped a USA meatball. But, they do not run the USA meatballs for stock, they rely on China for them. (cost-driven) And, there should be "no visible difference" between USA and China according to A-B, but clearly there is. So they started digging into the issue.

So, based on my conversations, I surmise they do fire up the USA machines to fill the NASA orders, probably fill out the "rack" (or whatever it is) beyond the order quantity, deliver the NASA order with the best of the run and then the rest go to stock. There is no different part number within A-B emblem to denote USA or China made "official" meatballs. Same part number regardless of country of manufacture.

Further to this, the only way you'd know where the patch was manufactured, is to check the tag on the back of the patch. Mine are marked China.

And again, I'm not knocking China or their manufacturing abilities. But as is shown in this thread, the meatballs coming from China currently do not match the ones delivered to NASA, and (again, according to A-B), they should. If this was a case of "design change" from when NASA ordered for the suits shown for the commercial program suits and today, I would expect A-B would give me that reason/excuse/story. But that's not what I was told directly. I sent A-B the photo of Bob and my meatball, so they were/are looking at exactly what I'm looking at.

Re "Collect Space": I was there to get the low-down on the "Mach 25" patches. I ended up reading quite a bit there...
 

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kurofeadra

New Member
Well, I must be really lucky to receive two USA made patches over my two orders then. I still think it's worthwhile to check gift shops. The visual difference should be clear from the front.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
One reason A-B cited for the off-shore production is the "distributors" wanted lower cost than the USA made ones must cost.

And checking the linked thread, it is clear that the bulk of patches will be made off shore. A bit disappointing, but yeah, I'd say you were extremely lucky to get USA made patches!

My conversations with A-B may allow us to purchase the USA made patches, with an up-charge to get them. I don't think most would mind, and I don't know for sure this will happen, but I am crossing my fingers...
 

ID10T

Sr Member
A bit of good news today:

My name tags came in, and they look FANTASTIC! But, in true "because it's Jim" fashion, there's a problem... I have four, and two were supossed to be Velcro backed and two were to be left plain. I got four plain ones...

But, while we figure that out, here's the picture:

IMG_E2962[1].JPG
 

Krieger

Well-Known Member
A slightly related post. I just received Commercial Crew patches from A-B that are close to the ones issued to NASA, with the 'sunrise' line across the bottom of the patch. I think they are close but not the actual batch the astronauts receive, but going with this version.
 

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Krieger

Well-Known Member
A bit of good news today:

My name tags came in, and they look FANTASTIC! But, in true "because it's Jim" fashion, there's a problem... I have four, and two were supossed to be Velcro backed and two were to be left plain. I got four plain ones...

But, while we figure that out, here's the picture:

View attachment 1486379
where did you get the tags? they look good
 

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kurofeadra

New Member
How long did it take you to get the tags? I don't know if I can get these for the convention in a week. I got my home made ones anyways.

edit: just called them. 2-3 weeks.
 
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ID10T

Sr Member
It takes a couple weeks. I don’t know exactly because they were in the mailbox at work and I just got them today.

Info on them is further up the thread. G&B makes them (also for NASA).
 

ID10T

Sr Member
Those commercial crew patches should be right. USA made so quite likely the exact ones. Compare to my photos posted earlier!

Bear in mind the patch without the sunrise has a larger logo. It is reduced to fit the sunrise on the bottom. So they do look different.

The sunrise indicates “flown” and the plain one is not flown and/or support crew.
 
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Lt Washburn

Well-Known Member
Is your chief concern whether they match the real ones regardless of source, or do you want them to be from the same source even if identical? I ask because for the time being there's a tell between USA and China-made patches. But hypothetically they could fix the discrepancies and there'd be no easy way to know which is which.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
If you were asking me, I want them to look right. And according to A-B, the USA and China patches should be indistinguishable from one another (other than the label on the back), and that is not the case.

when NASA orders them, A-B runs them in the USA. I would be perfectly fine if the China patches looked correct, but they don’t, and A-B is apparently correcting it.
 

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ID10T

Sr Member
G&B got back to me today and they are running two additional name tags with the Velcro for me. I was willing to send two back but I have a feeling it’s just easier for them to make new ones.

And these arrived today as well:
22490947-E1DD-473D-8419-453BD52F1EFC.jpeg


Not exactly as the sales photo, but I’ll live with it. Quality is fine but the light blue field should be embroidered as well. Most people have no idea what it even is anyway.

And I did a bit more work on the flight suit removing the stripes. Since I’m waiting on patches anyway, I might as well get the rest of them off and reduce my cost with the seamstress.

I’m also having second thoughts about the Artemis program. I like the program but it’s so new the only mission patch is mission one which is unmanned. I may go with the standard commercial crew on the right belly and flight operations on the right shoulder. Not sure but leaning that way now…
 

ID10T

Sr Member
Man. Getting these stripes off sucks.

Zippered pockets: the stripe runs down the leg, behind the pocket. Then they add the stripe to the pocket and then finish it. So, the stripe is around the facing on either side of the pocket. Then the zipper is stitched on. Double stitched. So a lot of seam ripping and careful stitch picking to get these off.

And I messaged the Mach 25 seller about his patches not looking like his photo- no reply yet…
 

ID10T

Sr Member
For others, like me, having trouble getting and concrete and useful information on the Artemis program, here is an official release from NASA I found that goes into all the details. Dated 21 September 2020, so not too far out of date.

Timeline may be a bit off, but it seems we are pushing forward.

I was a bit surprised it was so difficult to locate the document. Artemis is a big deal and no one knows anything about it!

UGH! Too large to upload!

 

kurofeadra

New Member
Despite convention plans failing through, I still made custom name tags. I'll have to wait for the GB ones to arrive in the mail to do a comparison.
IMG_2465[1].JPG


The Artemis plan is from the last """year""", so in all likelihood it's already outdated. The faculty here is pushing the "Artemis generation" hard, even if the public doesn't know much about it. It's not my field, but if it results in more funding coming to our institution, sure why not.
 

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