64
64
GEMINI G1C SPACESUIT THERMAL COVERLAYER
THERMAL COVERLAYER FOR THE GEMINI G1C SPACESUIT, MADE FOR GUS GRISSOM BY THE DAVID CLARK COMPANY, CA. 1962
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 43,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT
64
GEMINI G1C SPACESUIT THERMAL COVERLAYER
THERMAL COVERLAYER FOR THE GEMINI G1C SPACESUIT, MADE FOR GUS GRISSOM BY THE DAVID CLARK COMPANY, CA. 1962
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 43,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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GEMINI G1C SPACESUIT THERMAL COVERLAYER
THERMAL COVERLAYER FOR THE GEMINI G1C SPACESUIT, MADE FOR GUS GRISSOM BY THE DAVID CLARK COMPANY, CA. 1962
Aluminized coated cover layer, 54½ inches tall from ankle to top of collar,  label at inside back neck reading "Cover Layer G-1C-1,"(Suit model G-1C, serial number 1) NASA Meatball logo to left chest, two 3 inch diameter holes for oxygen inlet & outlet connectors to front, as well as two smaller holes, likely for communication & bio medical connectors, open at rear to accommodate the change of zipper placement (front the earlier wrap-around design to a vertical back zipper ), edges with the white crochet-type stitching characteristic of the suits developed by the David Clark Company. Several areas of orange discoloration, the typical result of oxidization of the aluminized coating. 
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Provenance

De-accessioned and disposed of by the National Air & Space Museum in 1980.

Literature

Shayler, Gemini - Steps to the Moon, 2001; Young, Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection, p. 143; see Monchaux, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo. 

Catalogue Note

Project Gemini was critical to the objective of landing a man on the moon, and the US astronauts logged nearly 1000 hours of spaceflight during the course of the program. The astronauts were given a variety of different tasks that were not assigned to the previous project Mercury, including conducting spacewalks, and living in cramped quarters for extended periods of time. As such, their suits needed to be adapted to the new program requirements. They had to provide a high level of versatility as the astronauts would have to wear them for 14 days, while at the same time be functional while pressurized. They had to provide a minimum level of micrometeoroid protection, as well as help the astronauts maintain a level body temperature. The G1C were earliest series of Gemini suits made by the David Clark company, and retained the aluminized silver coating of the Mercury suits (in fact, early photos of the Gemini astronauts show them in the silver suits rather than the white suits that were flown). One major departure from the design in the Mercury suits was the placement of the zipper; on the Mercury suits, there were two zippers, with one wrapping around the waist from the crotch on one side, to just above the waist on the other - the second zipper extended diagonally across the front of the torso, from the hip to the shoulder. This dual wrapping zipper closure meant that donning the suit was slow and complicated. The David Clark Company changed this configuration, so that the suit could be stepped into from the back, and then closed with a vertical zipper running from the crotch area up the back of the suit. This particular cover layer was made for Gus Grissom, one of the smaller astronauts (measuring 5'5"), who was pilot of the second Project Mercury flight, as well as command pilot on Gemini 3. He was assigned as commander of the Apollo 1 mission, and died in the tragic fire during the pre-launch test. Young's Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection, identifies the G1C suit number 001 as being the one made for Gus Grissom.

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