Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

The Shepard & Armstrong Spacesuits: 8 Fun Facts

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1. Code Names Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit was given the code name Sirius, after the brightest star system in Earth’s night sky. Code names were assigned to each member of the Apollo astronaut candidate pool. This allowed NASA to begin ordering the construction of the Apollo spacesuits before they made the official announcement of   …Continue Reading


Remembering Claudia Alexander—Space Scientist

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Claudia Alexander—Space Scientist (1959-2015) Claudia Alexander was perhaps not well-known to the general public, but within the space and science community she was a valued colleague and friend whose contribution to the field of space exploration was significant and lasting. Charles Elachi, the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she worked said she, “had a   …Continue Reading


What does Alan Shepard’s Mercury suit have to do with Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit?

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We’ve received a few comments and questions about why our stretch goal for the Neil Armstrong #RebootTheSuit Kickstarter project is Alan Shepard’s Mercury Freedom 7 spacesuit. The short answer is that the two suits bracket the ideas and accomplishments of the Apollo space program. After the series of early Soviet firsts in space that included   …Continue Reading


#RebootTheSuit: Your Apollo 11 Stories

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With just nine days left on the Museum’s Kickstarter campaign, #RebootTheSuit, we’ve been moved by the sheer number of people who have generously backed our mission to conserve, digitize, and display Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit. And now, you’re helping us go above and beyond to reach our stretch goal of doing the same for Alan   …Continue Reading


How do you put on an Apollo spacesuit?

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First, let’s talk about terminology. When we talk about putting on or taking off a spacesuit, we frequently use the terms “donning and doffing.” These are technical terms that are used to refer to the practice of putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) protective gear, clothing, and uniforms. The normal use of these terms   …Continue Reading