This is a reproduction of the original suit worn by John H. Glenn, Jr. during
his historic Friendship
7 mission of February 20, 1962.
spacesuit consisted of an inner layer of neoprene-coated nylon and a
restraint outer layer of aluminized nylon to reflect heat. This reproduction
uses a vinyl-coated cotton weave as an outer layer.
The Mercury spacesuit was a modified version of a high-altitude aircraft pressure
suit. Joint mobility at the elbows and knees was difficult against the
force of a pressurized suit. As an elbow or knee joint was bent, the suit
joints folded in on themselves reducing suit internal volume and increasing
pressure. However, limited pressurized mobility would have been a minor
inconvenience in the small Mercury spacecraft cabin.
The Mercury spacecraft cabin was designed to maintain a constant pressure so
the spacesuit was worn "soft" or unpressurized in the cabin and served only as
a backup for possible spacecraft cabin pressure loss -- an event that never