Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 & Connecticut’s Space Industry
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Bradley International Airport has collaborated with the New England Air Museum to exhibit a spacesuit at the airport. The spacesuit will be on display in the terminal, next to the entrance to the the TSA screening, throughout the week of July 15th.
About the spacesuit:
The spacesuit is known as an EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit). Introduced in 1981, it is in many ways the “world’s smallest spacecraft.” More than 18,000 parts working together provide astronauts with the life support, environmental protection, mobility, and communication systems necessary to perform extravehicular activity (EVA) in space. It is still in use today by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
While you may have seen suits like this on TV or in movies, you might be surprised to know just how involved one Connecticut company is in building and maintaining them.
Hamilton Standard (now Collins Aerospace), based right here in Windsor Locks, is the primary contractor for the EMU, providing its hardware, accessories, and primary life support systems. The suit’s soft components are manufactured by ILC Dover in Delaware.
Under the Hamilton Standard name, this company has provided hardware for every major space program from Gemini to the EMUs still in use today. In addition, its environmental control, fuel cell, and life support systems were used by spacecraft during the Apollo program—including the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing.
Want to learn more? Visit the New England Air Museum on Saturday, July 20th, for their 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 celebration event. A variety of space artifacts will be on display, including an authentic Apollo-era backup spacesuit fitted for astronaut James Irwin, who served as Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 mission.
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