US NAVY MARK IV FULL PRESSURE SUIT

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Lot 24
US NAVY MARK IV FULL PRESSURE SUIT

Sold for US$ 3,750 inc. premium

Space History

20 Jul 2016, 13:00 EDT

New York

US NAVY MARK IV FULL PRESSURE SUIT
WHAT BECAME THE MERCURY SPACE SUIT
Navy Mark IV mod 2 full pressure suit, with helmet. Nylon shell with rubber pressure bladder, size "Medium Large Long" approx 74 inches tall. Detachable hard fiberglass gold colored helmet by B.F. Goodrich with aluminum helmet sealing ring, 2 hinged polycarbonate visors securing to aluminum flange (1 clear, 1 tinted), lambskin ear cups, leather crown pad labeled "3601 HEADPIECE, MK IV MOD 2. FULL PRESSURE SUIT. TYPE I. STOCK NO. RG 8476-736-4394-LF 50. MFG'D BY THE B.F. GOODRICH CO, DATE MFG'D 10 61. CONTRACT NO. N 383-70891'A. U.S. NAVY." Plastic communications microphone with part number "ROANWELL CORP. 10387" attached to communications wire labeled "CORD ASSY ROANWELL P/N 39410", cloth-covered rubber and metal oxygen cable labeled "A.R.D.C. P/N 12040. SUN VALLEY, CALIF. MFD 65", aluminum cable end-connector labeled "ARDC. SUN VALLEY CAL. PAT'D. 3082394. P/N 8675. SER. NO. 1337", cable helmet connector labeled "THE FIREWELL CO., INC. PART NO. F2827100I1A. SPEC. NO. TYPE 11. SERIAL NO. 2774", silver earpad adjustor nob, oxygen regulator dial inside helmet labeled "CARLETON CONTROLS CORP. EAST AURORA, NEW YORK. U.S. PART NO. 1465006-1. SERIAL NO. 1458. CONTRACT NO. N156-45395. VALVE, OXYGEN, MAKEUP". Back of helmet with USN decal, BF Goodrich label, and decal reading "RESCUE. 1. PUSH BUTTON AFT. 2. LIFT VISOR". Suit neck with aluminum helmet sealing ring, two 4½ inch long vertical zippers, pressure suit marked inside neck "JOHN NORRIS. USN 005764. 737", outer shell marked "37" under chin, and "M.L.L. 1106 on neck of pressure suit inside vertical zipper, webbed nylon straps connected to metal wire pulley system running from back to front of neck. The sleeves strap and buckle adjustments, adjustable lacing from shoulder to wrist. Right shoulder with "USN" patch, left shoulder with large US Navy patch which bears Naval emblem. Upper entry zipper passing across chest, running from left shoulder to lower right waist, lower entry zipper running from right side of crotch, up around back and across hips to right hip, webbed nylon cross-chest strap, large "USN" patch to right side of chest, large "GRUMMAN" patch to left side of chest, 1 life-support port-hole to each side of torso. Back of legs with adjustable lacing from hip to ankle, altimeter at left thigh, 5 inch vertical zippers at ankles, metal valve at left ankle labeled "RV-D7. 3.5/4.0 PSIG", both legs with large nylon pocket below knee with 3 nylon straps and 5 push-snaps. No gloves or outer boots.
PROVENANCE: Property of an institution.

First introduced in the late 1950s, the Navy Mark IV pressure suit was designed by Russell Colley, to help provide an Earth-like atmosphere in un-pressurized high-altitude flights. Prior to the Mark IV, high altitude pressure suits had problems with both weight and mobility - these problems were solved in the Mark IV by using elastic cord to arrest ballooning of the suit. The Mercury space suit was basically a modified version of the Mark IV suit, with the most notable modification being an aluminized nylon outer layer to assist thermal control. NASA selected the B.F. Goodrich Company to fabricate them, and production began in 1959. The suits were very snug fitting, and the Phase 1 suits provided limited mobility while pressurized, especially in terms of bending the arms and legs– in the second Phase of the suit, break-lines were sewn into the shoulders, knees and elbows to alleviate some of the difficulties in movement. "The fabric was made by the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), and the silver color came from an aluminized powder coating glued to the green nylon fabric used for the exterior layer, prior to suit construction. Unfortunately, during the intervening years, this coating has in most instances, worn away. Many of these early spacesuits now have brown and green patches where the aluminized coating has deteriorated and the glue and nylon have begun to show through, and give the appearance of being 'rusty'" (Amanda Young, Spacesuits. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection p 30).
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US NAVY MARK IV FULL PRESSURE SUIT
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