Neil Armstrong's A7L space suit I/TMG connector cover, presumably used during training for the Apollo 11 mission, measuring approximately 24″ x 21″, featuring an ILC tag on the interior, reading: "Item I/TMG Connector Cover, Part No. A7L-201109-01, Size Armstrong, Serial No. 063, Date 12/68, Contract No. NAS 9-6100 (NASA), ILC Industries, Inc." The edges are lined with metal snap buttons and Velcro swatches for securing the cover against the front of the Apollo A7L space suit. Constructed of white Beta cloth, the front of the cover features a purge valve access flap secured by Velcro. Two curved side openings allow oxygen hoses to slide under the cover. In fine condition. Accompanied by three black-and-white glossy official NASA photographs showing Armstrong and Aldrin wearing this type of cover during training, an official NASA photo featuring a diagram of the suit, and a color reprint of Armstrong during training. Also includes a detailed document prepared by KSC Extravehicular Crew Training Engineer Dan Schaiewitz, explaining why NASA decided not to use the I/TMG connector cover on the Apollo missions. It is worth noting that Armstrong’s TMG flown on the Apollo 11 mission also had the serial number “063” (see: Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection by Amanda Young, p. 149).
The A7L suit consisted of an inner Pressure Garment Assembly (PGA) that was pressurized with oxygen for breathing, and an outer Integrated Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (I/TMG) that protected the astronaut from temperature extremes and hypervelocity micrometeoroid punctures while on the lunar surface. Connectors for the primary and back-up oxygen supply, electrical supply, and water for space suit cooling were on the front torso area of the A7L suit. The connector cover was intended to protect these connections during training exercises, to prevent lunar dust from gathering around and jamming the connectors, and to provide thermal protection of the connectors. However, during training exercises, the astronauts found the cover difficult to don while wearing EVA gloves, and feared that it could interfere with the use of the Buddy Secondary Life Support System (BSLSS) in the event of an emergency. After testing found that heat dissipation without the cover fell into an acceptable range, NASA decided to delete the requirement for the I/TMG connector cover. As an A7L space suit component fitted for Neil Armstrong and likely used during training for the first lunar landing, this is an extraordinary piece of Apollo history.
Provenance: Bonhams, July 2009.
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