Litton Industries Space Suit Collection

Collection ID:
Litton Industries
bulk 1960-1969
Physical Description:
0.36 Cubic feet
(1 box)

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of approximately 0.36 cubic feet of material relating to the development of space suits at Litton Industries. Materials included in the collection include a copy of the Litton Industries publication, The Extravehicular and Lunar Surface Suit Progress Report; copies of papers authored by Litton Industries staff on the development of a self-contained, articulated undersea suit; Litton Industries, Space Sciences Laboratories presentation, "UX Self-Contained One-Atmosphere Diving Suit"; a news-clipping and National Aeronautics and Space Administration press release on the Litton space suits; copies of drawings of various aspects of the Litton suits and their equipment; a hand-painted insignia (signed, W. Suitor '67) showing an astronaut wearing a Litton suit on the Moon; and numerous photographs of the Litton suits, their development, and testing. There is caption information for some of the images. Also included in the collection is a signed photograph of astronaut Eugene A. Cernan and a lithograph print showing the flight insignia and astronauts' signatures from Gemini missions.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
In 1954, the United States Air Force was looking for solutions to problems with vacuum tubes in electronics which were prone to overheating and were unreliable. Dr. Siegfried Hansen was working with vacuum tubes at Litton Industries and realized that working in a vacuum would facilitate his research. The U.S. Air Force built a vacuum chamber at Litton Industries to further Dr. Hansen's research and Hansen began to develop a special suit to wear in the chamber that would be flexible enough to work in but that could be fully pressurized. The suit that Hansen developed, completed in 1957, eventually became known as the Litton Mark I suit. In 1963, NASA contracted with Litton Industries to develop and build a protective "hard" suit that could be pressurized for extravehicular activity and Litton introduced the RX-1 suit in 1964. Over the next several years, Litton Industries developed a series of these suits, all given the RX designation.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Carol Haislip, Gift, 2010

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
Litton Industries Space Suit Collection, Accession 2010-0015, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Astronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manned space flight Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Space suits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsclippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151