Ernst Messerschmid's Zero-Gravity Training Suit used during parabolic flights in preparation for the STS-61-A mission. The bright orange training suit, size 50, features an embroidered name tag to the left chest, “E. Messerschmid,” with opposite side stitched “DFVLR” for the ‘German Test and Research Institute for Aviation and Space Flight.’ The left and right shoulders bear Space Shuttle Program and Germany flag patches, and the STS-61-A mission patch is attached to the left chest pocket. The inner collar bears the ‘Paul Schulze, Brakel’ manufacturer’s label, which is marked in red ink, “Messerschmid.” Additionally, the training suit contains several zippered pockets to chest, arms, and legs, adjustment snaps to waist section, and a pair of leather holders to front. Also included is a pair of soft off-white work gloves with leather undersides and cuff labels marked “8, 3/861011T.” In overall fine condition.
Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Messerschmid, in part: "This zero-gravity suit is attached with my name tag ‘E. Messerschmid’ and the patch of our astronaut crew of STS-61A. It has been used by me for zero-gravity parabolic training flights on special aircraft in my preparations for Space Shuttle mission STS-61A.”
From 1978 to 1982, Ernst Messerschmid worked on space-borne communications at the German Aerospace Center. The following year, he was selected as one of the astronauts for the first German Spacelab mission, Deutschland 1, which was the non-NASA designation for the STS-61-A mission. Messerschmid accrued over 168 hours in space as a payload specialist during STS-61-A, which proved to be the ninth and last successful flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The mission also holds the current record for the largest crew—eight people—aboard any single spacecraft for the entire period from launch to landing.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.