NASA flight suits

I should know this, but…

Apollo astronauts once wore gold(ish) flight suits when training*. (Tom Hanks wears one in Apollo 13.) The jacket I got when I was on the Space Shuttle Support Team was light blue, and I remember light-blue (‘Colbalt Blue’?) flight suits for the STS missions. Now they seem to have gone to Royal Blue. (The relative lack of news coverage and that I haven’t been associated with the programme in many years has made it difficult for me to keep up with the details.)

When did NASA stop using the gold flight suits? Are they still using the light blue ones? If not, when did they stop?

*[sub]Note: I’m talking about the flight suits worn in the jets; not the pressure suits or ‘space suits’, as they are sometimes called.[/sub]

Hmm I’ve been researching, and I havent pinpointed a date or year yet, but they were wearing blue flights suits at least as far back as Apollo 15.

Al Worden, Apollo 15

Well it was definitely some time during the Apollo program. All of the crew training pics during Mercury and Gemi seem to have gold suits, and I see a mix of Gold and Blue in the Apollo pics. I saw a blue suit as far back as Apollo 7. Still trying to pin down an exact year though! :slight_smile:

Maybe it’s my monitor, but the flight suit looks sage green to me. (His shirt looks light blue.)

Oh, about the jackets we got on the SSST. These were not ‘issue’ jackets. They were commercially made, and we had a choice of light blue or tan. There’s a rather hideous Space Shuttle logo/picture silkscreened on the back, and the SSST patch on the breast.

Yeah it does look kind of greenish. I’ve seen other pictures from the same era and blue with that film stock often comes out greenish. That’s why I figured it was actually blue. This one however (also Apollo), is definitely blue!

Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7


I’d thought that they used sage green or orange until Apollo, then switched to gold. I didn’t think the light blue ones came out until much later.

Any idea when they started using Nomex?

(And how do you know all of this, anyway? Good at google, or are you a bigger Space Cadet than I am?)

A little bit of one, a little bit of the other :slight_smile:

I have no idea when they started using Nomex. I’m wondering if those flight suits were regulated at the time. Back then most of those guys were shit-hot test pilots and/or combat vets, maybe they wore whatever the hell they wanted when jetting around in those T-38s and training? It would account for the mixture I’ve seen in historical photographs.

The pics that I linked have all come from this site, btw: