Connecticut’s influences in aviation carried over to the world of space exploration with the help of Hamilton Standard (now Collins Aerospace).
The space suits worn by astronauts on the moon during the Apollo-era of NASA were known as EMUs, or Extravehicular Mobility Units. These were made in large part due to the ingenuity of engineers at Hamilton Standard. With contracts with International Latex Corporation in Delaware to make the A7L Pressure Suit Assembly (PLS), engineers at Hamilton produced the Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The PLSS was incredibly important, as it provided oxygen, removed carbon dioxide, regulated temperature and pressure, and ultimately gave the astronaut an environment that could sustain life while on the lunar surface. An Apollo-era EMU is on display at the New England Air Museum.
NEAM Volunteer Don Rethke reflects on his experience working at Hamilton Standard.