Boys Life Magazine, October 1964
MMM list member Jim Rhodes sent me this article with the accompanying pics over 2 years ago. I've finally gotten around to posting this stuff...it's really good! I don't believe Boys Life is still in print, but just in case, all images and text are copyright Boys Life Magazine and used without permission. If anyone out there has a legal problem with me re-printing the material here, please let me know and I'll remove it immediately. Click on the image at left for a full- size diagramatic rendering of the suit (from the article).
|JOURNEY ACROSS THE MOON
By Col. BILL DUNKERLEY
AFTER THE first U.S astronauts reach the moon and return,
others soon will follow. One exploration now being planned
will consist of four spaceships and 12 astronauts.
Four spacemen will ride in each of three lunar-expedition
passenger carriers. The fourth craft will be for cargo, including
two "moonmobiles" for the 500-mile surface journey from the
moon sea, Mare Imbrium, to the Crater Aristarchus. Such a
journey has been selected because it will take the astronauts
into high and low terrain.
When they land, the crew will change into "moonsuits," an
air-lock door will open in each spacecraft and cable hoists will
lower the astronauts to the moon-dust surface. It will be night,
the temperature 247 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Darkness
and extreme cold will be safer than the deadly radiation of solar
flare activity during the moon's long 214-degree day.
Partial weightlessness and the cold silence will give the astro-
nauts an eerie feeling as they move about like turtles, operating
their moonsuits from an inside control panel in front of their
chest, switching on suit lights that focus where they walk.
As an earth day passes, the crew will assemble two moon-
mobiles, skeletonlike vehicles with oversize metal-tired "bicycle"
wheels. They will maintain their direction without a compass,
for there is no significant magnetic field on the moon.
Four of the 12 astronauts will make the journey to Aristarchus
to test equipment, take photographs, collect geological samples
and carry on scientific studies. Every step, every heartbeat,
every breath of the four-man exploring team will be reported back to
Besides carrying two astronauts the moonmobile will carry
power and oxygen reserves, food supplies, test equipment and
moon sample containers. Each astronaut will be connected to
the moonmobile by a 20-foot umbilical tube, without which he
could not survive for more than a few minutes.
The journey starts off at five miles an hour from the bottom
of Mare Imbrium. On one moonmobile rides the geologist for
the expedition and one of the two medical-human-factors spe-
cialists. On the other vehicle is the physicist and the specialist
who handles power-communications and life-support functions.
Back at moonbase the eight other astronauts are the life sciences
doctor, the astronomer and six support-mission specialists.
The explorers reach Yellow Mountain, a landmark long ob-
served from earth and believed to be towering sulfur. This ex-
planation seems plausible in view of terrestrial like moonscape
with its pumice and volcanic ash. Siliceous igneous rock-quartz
that has formed by solidification of molten matter below the
moon's crust-may have pegmatite veins containing compounds
of the lighter elements. Oxygen, though difficult to extract,
might be obtained in quantity here. Water and other fluids from these
lunar rocks will someday be used by future lunar expeditions to
build underground cities.
Moonsuits are made to tilt back as beds, but no one wants to
sleep- too much excitement, too much to see and do. Through the eyes
of this small group the dream of ages has come true- man is walking
across the face of the moon.
By Col. BILL DUNKERLEY
SPACE SUITS of the future will be more like
shelters than clothing. Short on style, but
long on reliability, they'll contain their own life-
support Systems. Once outside the spacecraft
they'll be attached to ground-powered vehicles
that will carry the astronaut and his supplies.
During the 'Ice Age cavemen wrapped skins
about them to keep from freezing to death.
Today's survival manuals of the Army and other
services stress the importance of clothing to
maintain correct body temperature, protect
against sun, prevent skin damage and the bite
of poisonous insects.
In outer space men's clothing will become
much more important to him. It will protect him
against added dangers of cosmic and solar ra-
diation, extremes of heat and cold (lunar tem-
peratures range more than 450 degrees Fahren-
heit)vacuum conditions and particles streaking
through space without atmosphere to burn them
Space suits of the future will be no ordinary
flying suits. They'll be developed from astronaut
clothing used in today's Mercury capsules. The
torso suit is a closely fitted coverall with inner
gas-retention ply of neoprene and an outer heat-
reflective, aluminized nylon fabric; a helmet of
resinous, impregnated fiber glass hard-shell with
visor sealing and communication system; gloves
with miniature finger lights; boots of aluminized,
nylon fabric with tennis-shoe-type soles; and a
cotton undergarment with long sleeves and legs.
The space suit has become a compact version
of the spacecraft cabin. Into it has been built a
similar environment control system. Its basis
is an air conditioner which is called a heat ex-
changer. Hot air, carbon dioxide and body odor
leave the suit by a ventilation outlet at the back
of the helmet, drawn into the heat exchanger by
a water-cooled fan, purified and sent back by
a hose from the oxygen tank to the suit waist.
Fresh oxygen is forced into the suit's distribu-
tion ducts and carried to the limbs where it
flows freely back over the body for cooling and
Several kinds of clothing will be worn during
a space journey. During flight in a spacecraft,
such as the Apollo on its way to the moon, astro-
nauts will travel in a shirtsleeve environment,
the same as the crews of the B-70. Astronauts will
probably take turns wearing a space suit that
will permit them to make outside repairs on the
ship. When the crew reaches the moon they'll
wear a space suit of more advanced design.
The Lunar Exploration Suit, Model MK 1 has
been developed by Space General Corporation
for travel across the surface of the moon. It re-
sembles a shelter because it must carry its own
life-support system wherever it goes. The basic
suit assembly weighs 60 pounds on earth, 10
pounds on the moon. It will carry a two-week
food supply weighing 30 pounds; a two-hour oxy-
gen supply, 24 pounds; battery, 24 pounds; com-
munication equipment, 12 pounds; reading and
miscellaneous material, 12 pounds. With an 180-
pound astronaut, this suit will total 342 earth-
pounds and 57 moon-pounds.
Looking at this enormous suit from top to
bottom, you see first a wide-domed headpiece
with an identification light centered on top, V-
shaped antennae, a built-in helmet camera and
see-around faceplate that drops almost straight
down to the shoulders to give the astronaut 360-
degree vision. At collar height there is a bumper
to protect the "windshield" and for another as-
tronaut to grab in helping his buddy. At thigh
level ground lights can be turned on. Boots are
double-soled and vacuum-insulated.
The astronaut will maneuver the suit much
like a small tank. As he walks, he will use his
arms inside to help the shoulder harness support
the suit. He will operate dials and knobs on the
control panel below the windshield for his life-
support functions, to control the suit's cooking
facilities, tune his radio and operate electronic
equipment. From his "dashboard" inside the
suit, he will also be able to manipulate a ground-
powered vehicle which will support him with ad-
ditional oxygen and supplies during exploration.
This "Moonmobile" is technically called the
Lunar Exploration Vehicle (2 man) MK I. It
has a 20-foot umbilical which delivers oxygen
and power to the space suit. The astronaut may
walk with the vehicle, or he may choose to ride.
If he rides, he hooks himself onto one end of the
Moonmobile with support trunnions located on
each side of his space suit. A mechanism on the
vehicle will lift him off the ground and carry
him in an upright position at five miles an hour.
Also, when supported by the vehicle, the astro-
naut can easily shift his weight much the same
as in a lean-back chair. In this way he can tilt
the suit horizontally for sleeping. It is padded
down the back so as to be reasonably comfort-
able under reduced lunar gravity. The multi-
purpose support trunnions not only provide a
means of support aboard the Moonmobile, but
they can serve as a point of attachment for "fly-
ing belts." They can also be used to hoist this
"detachable man-propelled cabin of a Moon-
mobile" into the spaceship.
There are advantages to integrating the hard-
shell space suit into the configuration of a vehicle
such as a Moonmobile. If the astronaut must
move away from his supply vehicle, the umbili-
cal can be disconnected. Then the suit's self-
contained oxygen and power supply will permit
it to operate independently until the oxygen is
used. In exploration missions this is important.
When each crewman is contained within his own
suit. the failure of one will not affect the others,
In this way space clothing will provide each
astronaut a better chance for survival.
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