ILC Dover was presented with an award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at a Sept. 20 ceremony, designating the ILC’s Apollo Space Suit as a Historical Mechanical Engineering Landmark. The ASME History and Heritage Committee Landmarks Program designated the Apollo Space Suit as an engineering landmark. Since the ASME History and Heritage Committee began 254 artifacts have been designated throughout the world as historic mechanical engineering landmarks.
The plaque says, “This model A7L spacesuit, designed and produced by ILC, protected Apollo astronauts from harsh conditions of space while providing good mobility, particularly on the lunar surface. Each suit served as an independent personal spacecraft that furnished all life support, hazard protection, communication and comfort features needed by an astronaut. The complex design required airtight but highly mobile joints, and integration of several layers of different fabrics into a practical garment. Model A7L (and A7LB for added mobility) spacesuits were worn during all Apollo, Skylab and Apollo Soyuz test project flights between 1968 and 1975. ILC made more than 250 suits for training, flight and back up use.
The suit displayed was manufactured for Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and later modified to fit Skylab astronaut William Pogue. Shown at the plaque presentation are (l-r) William Wallach, ILC Dover CEO; Phil Spampinato, Technology Development Partnerships director ILC; John Parker, ASME past president; Homer Reihm, Apollo Program manager ILC; Raymond Jackson, ASME DelMarVa Subsection chair; Robert Woods, ASME History and Heritage; and William Ayrey, quality manager and company historian, ILC Dover.