Last Chance To See Smithsonian Exhibition Exploring The Spacesuits That Helped Launch The American Space Program

By The Johnson Pioneer staff

The Johnson Pioneer of Johnson, Kansas

In 1961 President John F. Kennedy stated the United States would land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth before the end of the decade. To achieve this ambitious goal, astronauts would need not only a spacecraft to launch them safely into space, but a spacesuit that would protect them as well. Without the proper clothing to keep them alive while traveling, living and working beyond the bonds of Earth, space exploration was not possible. "Suited for Space," an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition (SITES) and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is on display at the Stauth Memorial Museum of Montezuma KS ONLY until Sunday November 1, 2015. The national exhibition tour of "Suited for Space" is supported by DuPont. Local support made possible in part by The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc. and CoBank's "Sharing Success" grant program. Come see this exhibit NOW as this is the last stop on its four year, 14 state tour!

The exhibition features large-scale photographs of suits worn by astronauts from Project Mercury through the Skylab program as well as suits used in testing and training. The photographs featured in "Suited for Space" were taken by Smithsonian photographer Mark Avino. In addition, Av'ino, in collaboration with Ronald Cunningham produced new X-ray images that provide a unique view of the interiors of the space-suits. While the fragility of these spacesuits prevents them from traveling, the exhibition will feature a replica Apollo spacesuit on loan from NASA and 10 objects from the National Air and Space Museum's collection, including a glove, a boot and helmets. Avino's photographs provide a visual timeline of the space-suits' development over the years from the earliest high-altitude pressure suits to the iconic white suits of Apollo and Skylab. Get up close and personal with objects and artifacts, and take a photograph of yourself "wearing" an Apollo suit.

"Suited for Space" includes suits that made history — like the one Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon — and those that never left the ground such as the Mark V spacesuit designed for Project Mercury. The design of the Mark V suit included an over-sized shoulder joint that provided an expanded level of mobility. However, with three astronauts sitting side-by-side in a capsule the size of the front seat of a small car, the suit was not feasible for the Apollo mission. A visitor to the exhibition can see an exciting visual timeline of the space-suits' evolution over the years. In addition, the exhibition has its own Facebook page for space trivia, curatorial insight, and general fun. Visit for extra fun, including historic video footage and you can walk in Buzz Aldrin's footsteps on the gallery floor! "Suited for Space" is accompanied by a richly illustrated book, titled Spacesuits: The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Collection available through Power House Books available through power House Books or while visiting the exhibit at the Stauth Museum.

We are expecting many tours, especially for these last weeks of this exhibit, so please call in advance for groups of 5 or more! Tours/groups welcome by appointment, contact 620-846-2527 for information or to set up a tour. Museum hours: Tue-Sat 9-12 1-4:30, Sun 1:30-4:30. We are closed on Mondays and all major holidays. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help pay for this outstanding exhibit! Check out our website at for information about this and all of the exciting new exhibits coming to the Stauth Memorial Museum!

DuPont's sponsorship reflects the company's commitment to protecting people though innovative protective apparel. DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at

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