APOLLO PROTOTYPE A6L SPACESUIT, INTERNATIONAL LATEX CORPORATION, 1967
A6L APOLLO SPACESUIT
An early-stage A6L Prototype APOLLO spacesuit, made by the International Latex Corporation, 1967
An early-stage two-piece A6L Prototype Spacesuit Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG) Jacket and Trouser Cover Layer Assembly, by the International Latex Corporation. Both with outer layer of high temperature resistant nylon (HT-1), two alternating layers of perforated aluminized mylar and marquisette spacer, five layers of perforated aluminized mylar separated by layers of unwoven dacron, and one layer of neoprene coated ripstop. Jacket closing with zipper, sleeves with stowage pockets closing with Velcro. Trousers with elasticized waist, both legs with zippers running from upper-thigh to ankle. Both with International Latex Corporation labels, trousers label reading “SPEC. CP 1003 TROUSERS ASSY, TMG. A6L-205050-01. MODEL NO. 1003 A. SIZE: MEDIUM LONG. SERIAL: 007. DATE 2/67. CONTRACT NO.: NAS 9-6100. NASA INTERNATIONAL LATEX CORPORATION 74897,” details on jacket tag illegible due to wear. Jacket yellowed and worn, with some tears and repairs.
IMPORTANT PROTOTYPE SPACESUIT, ORIGINALLY INTENDED FOR USE ON THE LUNAR SURFACE. Manufactured by the International Latex Corporation, the A6L was essentially the flight version of the A5L suit, and was designed to prevent micrometeroids from puncturing the inner pressure bladder worn by astronauts during EVAs. Until the tragic Apollo 1 fire in 1967, the A6L was the suit configuration intended for use on the lunar surface. The fire triggered a review of the suit's design, which resulted in modifications including a Beta-cloth fire-protection layer, as well as the suit being changed from a two-piece into a one-piece configuration. The A6L configuration never ended up being used on the lunar surface, and essentially became an Apollo training and developmental stage for the A7L series of suits. The A7L's first flight use was on Apollo 7, first EVA use during Apollo 9, and first moonwalk on Apollo 11.
For details on the development of the Apollo and other spacesuits, see Young, Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection, and Monchaux, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo.