X-Rays of a 1960s Spacesuit
Using x-rays we are able to see the inner workings of the Apollo mission spacesuits. For all their technology it is still slightly terrifying to think that this is all that is between a man or woman and a gruesome death in the vacuum of space.
Starting at the top we have an x-ray of a helmet used by astronauts in the Apollo program; the darker parts in the center of the helmet are the parts used to supply oxygen to the astronaut. Nowadays the visor is stopped from fogging by using chemicals, but back in the 1960s they used dishwashing liquid.
The shoulder joint was quite a challenge as the engineers had to design it to be able to move and not lose pressure and also to have localised air displacement so moving one arm wouldn’t cause another limb to move or a bulge of air to appear elsewhere in the suit.
Of the two full-body shots, the first is of a suit that was operational during the Apollo missions, while the second with the black background is an x-ray of an experimental space suit developed at the Air Research Corporation in 1968.
Said to be the hardest to design, the glove is a very complicated piece of equipment. The astronauts need to have a high level of dexterity in their fingers so they can do complicated work with handheld tools on the spacecraft if needed; the glove appears to look fingerless as the tips are made of silicon which does not absorb radiation.
Named a space suit overshoe the boots were designed to fit over the shoes of an astronaut while on the surface of the moon. Their main function was to better insulate the feet of the astronauts and of course maintain pressure. Although they were used on every Apollo mission, only one pair as ever made it back to Earth as the others were left due to weight restrictions.