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Life Jacket with Camera Mirror, Glenn, Friendship 7


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Apollo to the Moon exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This life jacket was issued to John Glenn for his Friendship 7 flight in February 1962. The life jacket is the self-inflating tube-type Navy issue life jacket made of rubberized nylon. It was strapped to his chest with the convex mirror fastened to the front.

The mirror had the dual purpose of a reflecting mirror in case of mission abort when the astronaut could use the mirror to attract rescuers. The other use was for reflection of the instrument panel in order to enable the staff of Mission Control to take instrument readings.

Transferred to the National Air and Space Museum from NASA in 1967.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Transferred from NASA - Manned Spacecraft Center


  • Bag and Interior: Nylon, rubber impregnated nylon
  • Straps: Nylon


3-D: 15.2 x 7.6 x 21.6cm (6 x 3 x 8 1/2 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number