NASA Unearths 007 Space Suit

    June 8, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Plumbing the unlighted depths of a storage building, NASA staff find a relic from the Cold War.

Once upon a time in 1963, the Department of Defense had a plan to put military officers in space for a month at a time, on reconnaissance missions.

But the program, which would have utilized a modified Gemini capsule and a small space station called a Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL), never got off the ground, according to a Reuters report.

Forty-two years later, a developer working with the Kennedy Space Center’s museum and tourist center made a discovery amid the leftover junk. After getting NASA security to find a master key to a locked door, and searching with flashlights, they found a locker-sized blue box.

Inside the box were two sky-blue spacesuits, a contrast to the white Apollo suits seen in later years. One suit bore the label 008 and the name LAWYER; that would be Lt. Col. Richard Lawyer, tabbed to be a member of the first group of astronauts going to MOL.

The other suit bore no name and one label, 007. A few sets of blue gloves were also found in the box. These suits were special training suits, designated model MH-7, and most of the 22 that were made have ended up at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Two suits seem to have disappeared from the collection at some point, and no one knows why or how. It could be simple human error, leading to the interesting find at NASA. But could they have been intended for another purpose, and spirited away from the collection? We’ll never know.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.