Aerospace Replicas - Space Suits
Today’s science centers and museums are frequented by an informed and tech-savvy public, and these visitors are drawn to spaceflight. They are especially interested in the human side of space exploration, and thus they have a natural affinity for and identification with what has become an icon of the space age, the Space Suit. This may explain why Guard-Lee has been tasked to build over eighty high fidelity space suit replicas in its thirty-two year history, most for science centers, NASA Centers, and Museums worldwide.
Building a model space suit that is almost indistinguishable from the real article is a challenging and exhaustive task that demands special processes, materials, and skills. Guard-Lee technicians have met these challenges and they excel in creating beautiful spacesuit reproductions.
Guard-Lee builds the following types of full scale space suit replicas:
Display: Display space suits are high fidelity copies of a particular space suit which are designed as showcase models.
Photo Opportunity: Photo Opportunity spacesuits are specially designed units that allow visitors to step behind them, insert their head into the helmet from the back, and have their picture made as if they are wearing the suit. These units have unique features, such as hidden steps in the rear that allow young people to use the suit. A Guard-Lee photo suit is still so complete and accurate, however, that it can be set in a corner with the face shield closed and be used as a display model.
Demonstration: Demonstration suits are made for classroom and demonstration purposes wherein a user would be taught about spacesuits or shown how to put on a spacesuit. They are designed to be worn for short duration.
Wearable: A wearable suit is a special class of replica. These suits are usually made for theatrical use or meet/greet applications at science centers and museums. The suits can be worn by workers or docents for time periods of up to one-half hour, and usually require a “wingman” assistant for worker safety and security. These suits have forced-air cooling systems run by batteries, and can have various other features as well.
Guard-Lee specializes in replicating the following historical types of space suits:
Mercury: Mk 4, as made for all Mercury Seven Astronauts
Gemini: G4C, as made for all Gemini Astronauts
Apollo: A1C, A7L, A7LB, as made for all Apollo Astronauts
Space Shuttle: Liquid Cooling Garment (LCG), Ejection Suit, Flight Suit, LES, ACES, EMU, EMU/MMU
ISS: EMU/EVA variant for International Space Station use
The Future: Mark 3 Development Suit, Z-1 and Z-2 Prototype Suits
Requests occasionally come in to Guard-Lee for single suit parts such as helmets and gloves. Guard-Lee typically does not market individual suit components, unless under special request from a museum or science center as part of a dedicated display effort.
FACT: Guard-Lee spacesuits can be found in displays at the Smithsonian, Hamilton Sundstrand, and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.