Guess which brand is behind the Spacesuit

LI - Moon 10b.JPG

50th Anniversary of Moon Landing
July 20, 2019

Apollo 11 - first men on the moon 1969 - 50th Anniversary - by Melinda Bak, Communications Strategist

Across America, tenuous rabbit-ear-antennas were adjusted in homes and store-front windows as the nation tuned in on cathode-ray-tube television sets.

It was a sultry evening, and our world was about to be rocked by a man in a very sophisticated girdle.

Apollo Moon Landing - 50th Anniversary - by Melinda Bak, Communications Strategist

Just eight-years after President John F. Kennedy promised that the United States would walk on the moon, Americans from every walk of life stopped. And watched.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had spent the hour prior, climbing into their model A7-L suits.

Constructed by the International Latex Corporation of Dover, Delaware (a girdle-manufacturer, today known by a much more familiar name), the suit was made with 21-layers of synthetics and neoprene rubber.

They, along with all of NASA, hoped that the A7-L would protect them from the moon’s 500-degree range of temperatures as well as hurtling micrometeorites.

Can you guess who made the A7-L Lunar Space-Walk suit?

Hint: They were the master behind that 1960’s Hourglass Figure

Their first foray into the market was with a 1940’s upgrade on the middle-ages corset. The new rubber girdle was an upgrade that meant women could move a bit while still boasting an hour-glass figure. Moving of course didn't include sweating in non-moisture-wicking rubber “living” undergarments. It was an upgrade, no doubt, but one that clearly made "living" a bit of a challenge.

During World War II, when the Japanese cut off our supply line to Malaysian rubber and latex, the U.S. War effort was impacted, rubber was commandeered for war purposes; and rubber-dependent companies like the ILC were brought to the brink of collapse. In 1945, The Stanley Warner Company (Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.) bought the company, becoming the first to advertise women’s under-garments on television.

At the end of World War II, one of the ILC’s divisions began manufacturing a pre-sized (no fittings required) girdle that joined the words play and latex, Today the International Latex Corporation has several divisions with it’s popular division going by the well-known re-brand, the Playtex Company.

Yes, not only was Playtex the master of the 1960’s hour-glass figure, but of a girdle with enough bravado to hold the astronauts in and the atmosphere out.

Apollo Moon Landing - 50th Anniversary - guess which brand made the first spacesuit to walk on the moon
Melinda Bak, Communications Strategist - Apollo 50th anniversary 1969-2019

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Winning the NASA contract, Playtex applied its expertise with latex to building a suit that took runway walking to new heights.

Short on trim and stunningly high on bulk, this Playtex product weighed in at 110 pounds. The Playtex suit required an additional 180 pound life-support backpack and 20-pounds of gear.

Add the weight of an astronaut, and Neil and Buzz each weighed in at just under 500 pounds, for their historic moon walk.

Speechless before their televisions, America witnessed low-gravity for the first time as the suited Neil Armstrong (with a quarter-ton of bulk) bounced lightly down the ladder from the lunar module.

Awkwardly extending his left foot toward the moon, we gasped as we saw moon dust rise from the impact of his boot. Still holding our breath, Neil’s words bridged the distance between moon and earth, between the impossible and the possible. Unforgettable.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

50-years-ago today; it was an unforgettable 11-word speech, delivered in a sophisticated girdle.

Neil Armstrong - one small step for man - by Melinda Bak


50th Anniversary

In-Site Blog by Melinda Bak - Apollo 11 Anniversary
In-Site Blog - Apollo 11 Anniversary by Melinda Bak

Because I’m a NASA-Nerd, thought you might enjoy seeing the original footage of the Moonwalk. And, a list of inventions made possible by space travel. Amazing.


20 Life Altering Inventions Made Possible by Space Travel

Apollo 11 Moon Landing - 50th Anniversary - 20 things we wouldn't have without space travel
Moon Landing Anniversary - 20 things we wouldn't have without space travel
50th Anniversary of landing on moon - 20 things we wouldn't have without space travel
Moon Landing - 50th Anniversary - Who made the spacesuit - by Melinda Bak

Infographic available for download at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; designed by SpaceyByDesign