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The Battle of the Space Suit

By John Ekdahl

The story behind the Apollo space suit is a bizarre one, as highlighted by Wired last year. There are some great pictures of Aldrin, Collins, and Armstrong testing out the new suits there, so make sure to click through.

Neil Armstrong’s first footfall on the moon was one small step for man, but it was one giant leap for a maker of ladies’ girdles. He wouldn’t have had such a snazzy spacesuit were it not for an epic struggle between a by-the-book defense contractor and a lingerie company run by a car mechanic and a TV repairman.

MIT called it “a triumph of intimacy over engineering“. The Apollo space suit was much different than the suits previously developed, because they had to be able to walk on the moon without a connecting hose.

For walking on the moon, the space suit was supplemented with a pair of protective overboots, gloves with rubber fingertips, a set of filters/visors worn over the helmet for protection from sunlight, and a portable life support backpack that contained oxygen, carbon-dioxide removal equipment and cooling water. The space suit and backpack weighed 180 lb (82 kg) on Earth, but only 30 lb (14 kg) on the moon.

NASA has a nice interactive site to learn more about the current space suit.

Rest in peace, Neil.

. . . . .

Don’t forget to pay your bills. This goes for baseball teams, too.

The Worcester Tornadoes played the Quebec Capitales before a good crowd at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field last night, but fans had trouble recognizing the home team.

That’s because the Worcester players and coaches took the field wearing Can-Am League-issued uniforms after the lawyer representing local businesses owed money by the team confiscated their Tornadoes jerseys.

The legal maneuver came hours after the Hilton Garden Inn joined the list of creditors filing suit against the Tornadoes and the independent baseball team’s owner, Todd Breighner.

. . . . .

Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

Benchies now returns to its regular weekend placement.

. . . . .

Funny, all HE ever glimpsed through the trees was the loading dock at Formica World…

8-26-12 s-Lagoon

Click to enlarge

39 comments to The Battle of the Space Suit

  • The Jeff | August 26, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    Ah, Benchies… If only golf courses actually had those sorts of hidden lagoons… it’d probably be a far more popular game.

    • Ryan | August 26, 2012 at 10:38 am |

      Cougars in the woods > Tiger Woods?

  • Terry Proctor | August 26, 2012 at 10:42 am |

    The Worcester Tornadoes saga reminds me of the 1974 World Football League Champion Birmingham Americans who had their uniforms and equipment seized by the Sheriff’s Department in the locker room as soon as the Championship Game was over. The local sporting goods dealer, Hibbett’s Sporting Goods began selling the gear in their store almost immediately. I wonder how much used jock straps went for?

    • Ricko | August 26, 2012 at 11:42 am |

      My friend Steve Arnold owned the Houston Texans, who played in the Astrodome. At one point a rep of the Dome came to his office and told him the goalposts, however, belonged to the Oilers and he would have to find his own (an Oilers ploy, obviously).

      Steve said, “Well, we don’t kick extra points (the WFL had the “action point,” remember) so we’ll work around it. However, if they said we had to play without the 40-yard line or something we’d be in trouble.”

      There was no further mention of not letting the Texans use the goalposts.

    • BK | August 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

      My uncle was actually at that game when he was a kid. He went with a friend whose dad had connections and was able to get them into the locker room after the game. He was there as the sheriff’s dept. was boxing up and removing the equipment. The quarterback for the Americans (whose name escapes me) took the thigh pads from his pants and autographed them for my uncle and his friend before they could be confiscated.

      • Ricko | August 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm |

        Americans QB might have been George Mira.
        The opponent was the Florida Blazers with Matthew Reed at QB.

        • NickV | August 27, 2012 at 5:01 am |

          Ricko, I’m gonna disagree. Matthew Reed played for the Birmingham team – unless, of course, he played there the next year and I have this entirely wrong.

  • David Murphy | August 26, 2012 at 10:52 am |

    I still think for the opening ceremony the US team should march in wearing astronaut suits.

    • The Jeff | August 26, 2012 at 10:58 am |

      Nah… blue jeans & t-shirts. What’s more American than that?

      • Phil Hecken | August 26, 2012 at 11:09 am |

        you don’t find this look to be american?

        i’d actually be cool with jeans and a collared (not tee) shirt, but for the love of god, no more berets OR stetsons

        or perhaps this is more your speed

        • JTH | August 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

          Should those collared shirts be tucked into the jeans or not?

        • Phil Hecken | August 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

          i think that depends on who is president … and if he goes untucked or not…

          with 44…could go either way…but with *45* it’s a total tuckup

        • Simply Moono | August 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm |

          What the polyrhythm-playing fuck is the Prez wearing on his feet?

        • Phil Hecken | August 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm |


          hey… at least he doesn’t wear them on the bump

  • Skott S. | August 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    Apparently Tom Brady flew under the radar and switched his number without anyone noticing.,nfl

    I wonder what number Gronk is going to wear this year.
    This is the Nike NFL home page. Great attention to details, guys.

    • Skott S. | August 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

      And just as deftly, so did Polomalu. Even got past me the first time. Very slick, Troy.

      • Tim E. O'B | August 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

        “Is that Mike Wallace? He’s wide open, I’ll throw it to him. Wait a minute…”

        -some concussed NFL QB

  • Jonee | August 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm |

    This is somewhat interesting. The University of Utah’s athletic director addressing Native American imagery:

  • Benjamin J. Douthett | August 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Benjamin J. Douthett | August 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
      • Jim Vilk | August 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm |

        Now that, I like.

        • Jim Vilk | August 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

          I always feel sorry for the people sitting on the other side of the court, though. Teams used to design courts/fields/etc. with them in mind, but now it’s all about the TV.

  • wayne | August 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

    Why don’t some NFL teams paint their logos on the field for preseason games? I know the packers do outlines of the mid-field G and their endzones, and I see in Denver they’ve only got the “USA football logo.

    • Clint Richardson | August 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm |

      Money. Field paint costs a lot of money…and they’re already committed to painting the field for 8 or so games, so why spend another $100-200+ on paint for games that dont matter?

      • JTH | August 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm |

        Why? Because they’re still charging full price for those games.

        And didn’t I just hear that the Jets are charging $50 for parking in the same spots that the Giants are charging $25 for?

  • Wheels | August 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm |

    typo there, Ek- “bizzare”

    • John Ekdahl | August 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

      Thanks. Writing before coffee…

  • Oakville Endive | August 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    Not saying anything that has not been said many times already, but add me to the chorus that the collars that some of the teams are wearing such as the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints are an unwelcomed uni addition – that collar , with a Hovan cut, will be one butt ugly look, regardless of the team.

    • Tim E. O'B | August 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

      I don’t think Hovan Cuts exist anymore.

  • Rob H | August 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

    Only 24 comments so far by 7 PM on a column about space suits? I suppose due to the topic I could shamelessly plug this page again, for those of you who weren’t around here last May.

    • Jim Vilk | August 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm |

      I completely forgot I did a 5&1 for that…

      Two of my favorite things as a kid were football and the space program. Reason? Helmets.

      That’s why Space: 1999 was better than the original Star Trek. Helmets in the former, no helmets in the latter.

      • Jim Vilk | August 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

        Oh, and RIP Mr. Armstrong. One giant leap into eternity.

      • JTH | August 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm |

        Dammit, Jim…

        No helmets in Star Trek you say?

        Oh, and I suppose you forgot about this one, too.

  • Coleman | August 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm |

    Barcelona broke out a kit only Movi could love today…

    Yowza, can’t say I’m a fan.

    • Phil Hecken | August 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

      i smell a DIY shirsey being silkscreened in akron as we speak

      • Coleman | August 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

        I have absolutely no doubt!

    • Jim Vilk | August 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

      That’s got a real Baltimore Blast vibe to it.
      Hmmm…maybe once my other projects are done…

  • Patrick_in_MI | August 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm |

    While scouring around, I found mention of Paul’s uni rankings from this past week. Unfortunately, they cite it as an ESPN poll and no mention of Paul himself!

    • Paul Lukas | August 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm |

      Nothing wrong with that — they don’t need to mention me by name. They linked to the rankings, and that’s enough.