Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy made his historic 1961 “Man on the Moon” address to the U.S. Congress, the Smithsonian launched a new exploration—a traveling exhibit that chronicles the evolution of space suits and the materials that make them. The five-year tour, beginning at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, is sponsored by DuPont™, Wilmington, Del., which has manufactured innovative space suit materials for decades.
Among the company’s “suitable” material contributions to the space program are nylon (Apollo space suits and the first U.S. flag planted on the moon), Nomex® (fire protection), Kevlar® (ballistic protection), Teflon®, Kapton® polyamide film, Mylar® polyester film and Krytox® lubricants. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently tested a new space suit, the NDX-1, for extreme conditions (such as those on Mars) and the new model features Kevlar and carbon fiber composites. Find out where the exhibition is going next by clicking here.