Public Archives marks 45th anniversary of Apollo landing July 5

June 29, 2014
Delaware Public Archives will mark the 25th anniversary of the Apollo lunar landing at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 5, with a talk by Bill Ayrey of ILC Dover, which manufactured the spacesuits for the historic mission. SOURCE DELAWARE PUBLIC ARCHIVES

With the 45th anniversary of America’s landing on the moon taking place in July, the Delaware Public Archives will honor this historic event by hosting a program at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 5, about the development of the early spacesuit at International Latex Corporation.

This program, presented by Bill Ayrey, will explain the Apollo spacesuit and the impact it had on the success of the Apollo program which culminated with man’s landing on the moon. In addition to discussing the Apollo spacesuit, Ayrey will describe the development of the Space Shuttle and Space Station spacesuits. The presentation will also include information about ILC Dover’s creation of the airbags that helped land the rovers on Mars.

Employed at ILC since 1977, Ayrey is the quality test laboratory manager and company historian for ILC Dover in Frederica. As the laboratory manager, he is responsible for testing advanced materials for many product lines. Ayrey oversees the manned testing of the spacesuits and the testing of all spacesuit parts before delivery to NASA. He has provided training to Smithsonian docents on the details of the spacesuits in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum collection. Ayrey will also provide assistance as NASM forms a working group to determine the best practice for displaying Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit in 2017.

The program is free to the public and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers  at 302-744-5047 or email

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The Delaware Public Archives is at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North in Dover.