Following on from Bonhams' sale of Alexei Leonov's historic spacesuit, Regency Superior is looking to get in on the act, offering a suit of its own at their upcoming June auction.
Its credentials are very different from the Leonov suit, which was flown in space and worn as Leonov became the first cosmonaut to shake hands with an astronaut in space as Apollo and Soyuz projects joined forces.
This suit has not been flown, but it is historic and exciting nevertheless.
Described as the ultimate Moon and Planetary space suit, the 1990 Command Control Pressure Suit (CCPS) was designed by Brand Griffin and space artist Paul Hudson. Essentially it was designed with all the necessary avionics for landing open-cockpit Lunar Landers or operating Rovers on the Moon or other planets within the suit itself.
A flat-panel helmet/backpack assembly was equipped with louvers, headlights and internal cockpit. Flat panel helmet construction was selected not only for greater mobility and visibility, but to overcome the 'lens-effect' that happens with rounded-design 'bubble' helmet/visor construction. It also allowed for interior vital information displays.
Conceived in 1987, 11 years before the first space station element was delivered to orbit, CCPS is a visionary rear-entry suit that can be outfitted for weightlessness or planetary operations.
Even more, it was designed to serve as a cockpit for a Lunar Lander, making the system lighter and more efficient. This suit was tested by Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison (Jack) Schmitt, who gave it a favourable review, especially the visibility aspects. Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin wrote, "I wish we had the Griffin Suit on the Moon".
(Of course many collectors would love to get their hands on anything associated with Buzz's trip to the moon - and might be surprised to hear that his training suit is currently available.)
The CCPS on offer in the auction was also tested in lunar gravity aboard NASA's 'Vomit Comet', a KC-135 Strato-tanker, and was featured on the cover of 'Aviation Week and Space Technology'.
The unique original 1990 engineering test unit lot is offered with a confident listing of $150,000-$250,000 in Regency Superior's auction in St Louis, Missouri on June 10-12. It will make an excellent alternative investment.
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