Glove: Manned Orbiting Laboratory, MH-7 (USA), 1968
This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.
Spacesuit gloves must protect astronauts’ hands while also recreating tactile sensation. In a vacuum, the difference in pressure between the inside and outside of a spacesuit makes the suit rigid and difficult to move. This rigidity, while protective, renders normal manual activity even more difficult than the effect of the vacuum, because the hard fingertips of the gloves press against the wearer’s nerve endings, shutting down capillaries and causing numbness. Engineers at Hamilton Standard designed these gloves in 1968 to work with spacesuits for the (MOL) program, developed by the United States air force. In this design, metal "fingernails" in the thumb and first two fingers press against the astronaut’s own nail beds, providing direct sensory feedback. The sharkskin grip pads on the thumb, first two fingers, and palm improved grip sensation and durability with less compression of the pads of the crewmember’s fingertips.
It is credited
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Transferred from NASA, 1973.0860.003.
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Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 29.2 x 11.4 x 12.7 cm (11 1/2 in. x 4 1/2 in. x 5 in.)
It has the following markings
RIGHT GLOVE: Handwritten on interior velcro tab: 008 S (illegible) 72164 (illegible) D-1 AA4-1 Etched on wrist disconnect: AL Logo ASSY 9156 SN-101 9S Molded into zipper pull: TALON
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.