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Pressure Suit, Shuttle Launch-Entry


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

The Launch-Entry Suit (LES) was a partial-pressure suit worn by Space Shuttle crew members for protection against loss of cabin pressure during the critical ascent and descent phases of a mission. Introduced after the 1986 Challenger accident, it was used until the late 1990's, when the Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES) was phased in. The Launch-Entry Suit pressurized at 3.2 psi and exerted mechanical pressure on the crewmember's body by inflation of the internal bladder. The helmet visor and neck dam were pressure seals, but the gloves were not; they connected to the suit by a tube and needle valve. The Launch-Entry Suit included an integrated antigravity suit (g-suit) to prevent blood from pooling in the lower body during re-entry. This particular Launch-Entry Suit, transferred from NASA, was never worn in space.

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, Johnson Space Center.


Nomex outer garment (orange); polyurethane-coated nylon inner pressure bladder (blue); Gore-Tex liner; Neoprene neck dam; anodized aluminum; steel; Teflon; velcro


Clothing: 152.4 × 66 × 15.2cm (60 × 26 × 6 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number