Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

In 1954, the United States Air Force was looking for solutions to problems with vacuum tubes in electronics which were prone to overheating and were unreliable. Dr. Siegfried Hansen was working with vacuum tubes at Litton Industries and realized that working in a vacuum would facilitate his research. The U.S. Air Force built a vacuum chamber at Litton Industries to further Dr. Hansen's research and Hansen began to develop a special suit to wear in the chamber that would be flexible enough to work in but that could be fully pressurized. The suit that Hansen developed, completed in 1957, eventually became known as the Litton Mark I suit. In 1963, NASA contracted with Litton Industries to develop and build a protective "hard" suit that could be pressurized for extravehicular activity and Litton introduced the RX-1 suit in 1964. Over the next several years, Litton Industries developed a series of these suits, all given the RX designation.




Litton Industries


bulk 1960-1969


Carol Haislip, Gift, 2010


0.36 Cubic feet ((1 box))


No restrictions on access.


Collection descriptions

Archival materials





Scope and Contents

This collection consists of approximately 0.36 cubic feet of material relating to the development of space suits at Litton Industries. Materials included in the collection include a copy of the Litton Industries publication, The Extravehicular and Lunar Surface Suit Progress Report; copies of papers authored by Litton Industries staff on the development of a self-contained, articulated undersea suit; Litton Industries, Space Sciences Laboratories presentation, "UX Self-Contained One-Atmosphere Diving Suit"; a news-clipping and National Aeronautics and Space Administration press release on the Litton space suits; copies of drawings of various aspects of the Litton suits and their equipment; a hand-painted insignia (signed, W. Suitor '67) showing an astronaut wearing a Litton suit on the Moon; and numerous photographs of the Litton suits, their development, and testing. There is caption information for some of the images. Also included in the collection is a signed photograph of astronaut Eugene A. Cernan and a lithograph print showing the flight insignia and astronauts' signatures from Gemini missions.







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Topics Astronautics
Manned space flight
Space suits


Litton Industries Space Suit Collection, Accession 2010-0015, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

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