Original light blue NASA flight suit issued to and used by Slayton during the early days of America’s space exploration. The garment bears an official NASA patch over the left breast and a leather identification patch that reads “D. K. Slayton, M.S.C. N.A.S.A.” affixed with Velcro over the right breast. There are six zippered pockets, one on each side of the chest, thigh, and lower leg, a zipper on the left arm, zippered front, and two back pockets.
This is the same style of black-zipper-lining flight suit issued as early as 1961 to the Mercury astronauts, who used them while maintaining their piloting skills in jet planes like the T-38. They were also sent ahead to the recovery ships so that the astronauts could change into them after going into space. John Glenn, for example, wore his on board USS Noa after the 1962 flight of Friendship 7. Slayton was originally named to the second orbital mission, but was then grounded from space missions because of a heart condition. He became the assistant director, then director, of Flight Crew Operations at Houston’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC, renamed Johnson Space Center in 1973), and was responsible for selecting the crews of the Gemini and Apollo missions.
Slayton was photographed wearing what is almost certainly this same flight suit in 1965 at MSC's Mission Control Center just before the launch of Gemini V. Slayton maintained his flying proficiency in the hopes of someday making it into space, as he did in 1975 on the Apollo-Soyuz mission. There is a partial separation of the inner lining just below the collar. Accompanied by a copy of the photo shown here in which Slayton is wearing what is almost certainly this same flight suit and a letter of authenticity from Bobbie Slayton that reads “This jumpsuit was used by Deke Slayton during flight training at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.” An amazing item once worn by an original American astronaut. RRAuction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.