Touching the Moon

Since I was a little boy dreamed looking the Moon, and I was fascinated so much by the Apollo 11 mission. I envied (and still do) those young men who flew a mass of scrap metal on that unknown ground. They descended the ladder and posed their feet on another little world for the first time in human history. One of them turned lonely around the earth waiting to bring them home. I was fascinated by everything, the thoughts, the emotions, the courage of those super-heroes in flesh and bones.
At that time the LEM really seemed to me a 15 tons of scrap metal. Like an impossible machine output from a Jules Verne’s book. With it’s 64 kb computer and 4 kb of ram (much less than the iPhone in my pocket) all this seems so incredible.
But, as we know, it was just the result of a very very long, hard and complicated research where nothing was left to the case. Each study and each experiment was just a mosaic piece required to complete the unique and magnificent enterprise.
Recently I found some photos of the plaster casts that was make on the astronauts hands to manufacture their custom technical gloves.

The plaster casts of the astronaut’s hands of Apollo 11 mission: Buzz Aldrin (1930), Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Michael Collins (1930) in exhibition during the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission at The Apollo Treasure Gallery at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The spacesuit maker ILC Industries (now ILC Dover) made the plaster casts of each astronauts hand to create the fit-gloves. The pressure bladder inside the gloves was dip molded from the casts. To keep the right pressure on the rubber hand, the adherence must be perfect. The engineers has made every single glove directly on the plaster cast of each hand.

A-7 Lunar Extravehicular gloves. Outside the protective shell of metal Chromel-R fabric with thermal insulation.

The gray silicon rubber fingerprints provided sensitivity. The inner glove has a rubber pressure layer with a built-in restraint system. The gloves attached to the spacesuit in the same way as gloves used inside the spacecraft.
Below the original photography, published on LIFE magazine, august 9 1968, show a collection of  the plaster casts of astronaut’s hands and each bear the astronaut’s name.