Lot #3000
Project Mercury: Alan Shepard Space Suit Glove

Rare Project Mercury space suit glove built for Alan Shepard, America's first man in space
This lot has closed

Estimate: $75000+

Description

Rare Project Mercury space suit glove built for Alan Shepard, America's first man in space

Rare Project Mercury 'Type M' testing/training left-handed space suit glove built for Mercury-Redstone 3 pilot Alan Shepard, constructed from aluminized nylon with white leather palm and thumb. The aluminum wrist cuff features a rubber seal gasket and zipper attachment. The orange tag inside the wrist reads: "Full Pressure Suit - Project Mercury, Unit: Glove, Type: M-8, Manufactured by the B.F. Goodrich Co., Contract No. NOas 60-8011C, Bureau of Aeronautics, U.S. Navy, For: National Aeronautics and Space Administration." Marked "Shepard" in felt tip inside the wrist. In very good to fine condition, with general wear from use. Consignor notes that his father founded Graham Labs in Los Altos, which built a robot to conduct tests on the space suits; an original glossy 8 x 10 photograph of him with the robot is included.

Pressure suits had been developed by the US Navy and Air Force for the use of their pilots in high-altitude unpressurized fighter jets, and would be necessary to protect NASA astronauts in the event of sudden depressurization of the cabin in the vacuum of space. Upon testing, NASA preferred the Navy's Mark IV suit as a platform: the most obvious modification NASA made was the replacement of the dark outer shell with aluminum-coated nylon for thermal control purposes, giving the suit a futuristic shiny silver appearance; most of the other changes also had to do with thermal and environmental control. A desirable piece of NASA space suit history.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #619 - Ended October 21, 2021