The last space suit on the Moon

This is the space suit worn by Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan, the last human being to set foot on the Moon.

Side note: I knew these suits were heavy. I had not realized how heavy. With 26 layers of material in the suit, a portable life-support system strapped on, and other mechanical systems attached, the whole thing weighed in at 185 pounds on Earth.

Via Smithsonian


  1. Let’s say “the most recent human being to set foot on the moon.”

    The dream can’t be dead already, can it?

    1. I like how Maggie has specified that this is the last human being to set foot on the moon, leaving open the possibility that any number of other creatures may have been wandering around in the mean time :)

  2. Despite the Moon’s low gravity, the inertia of this beast would still make it clumsy to walk around, change directions, etc.    A very fond memory of when America was famous for doing amazing, cool things… not just propagating fake wars and an extractive economic model.

  3. “Bob, this is Gene, and I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just (say) what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”

    Those were the last words Gene Cernan uttered on the surface of the Moon, as he prepared to leave it and head back up to the control cabin of the LM. Let those words inspire us to return to the Moon and begin the push out into the deeper regions of our solar system and the infinite deep that is space and time.

  4. A little under 84KG

    For those, like me, who had to convert it to a sane measurement before it made sense ;)

    1. For the sound stage they just used lighter suits, filled with helium (how else do you get that puffed out look?).  This obvious prop was made just for public viewing.  There’s no way they would have worn 185 pounds ot walk on a sound stage, how gullible do you think I am?

      Gotta go, podcast to create about Elvis’ faked death.

      1. Elvis really is dead.  But if you look at a time-lapse of photos from the last few years of his life, you can see it was a controlled demolition.

      2. You are totally correct. Funny story. The Astronauts had to “loop” their dialog because the helium leaked from the balloons in the suit. It made their voices sound funny to the navy audio engineers. One of the engineers put together a “blooper” reel with the actual high pitched dialog. He showed it at the wrap party. It was a big hit. Cernan loved it.

        Of course the tape was destroyed but my dad told me the story right before he died since he was sworn to secrecy. 

        BTW, I’d like to subscribe to your podcast. Gotta go, podcast to create about Obama’s faked birth certificate.

  5. One of the things that most science fiction writers don’t include, is that you’re right, Brainspore. Space suits can’t be machine washed. As a result, they get stinky. I got to try on one of the practice suits many years ago, that was used in the zero-g simulator (the swimming pool). Even after a couple of years in the NASA promotional RV hanging on a rack, it still smelled like old gym socks.

  6. The complete steel shell (think maximilian plate armor) that’s hidden under that cloth cover  has a lot to do with the weight.

    Interesting note:  The cloth cover was designed not only to provide solar thermal protection (remember, on the moon there’s a 400 degree difference in temperature between light and shade- think what that does to materials with high thermal expansion) but also to prevent the Rooskies from copying it from our propaganda broadcasts.

  7. You’d have thought they’d have at least washed it before putting it on display. The moon sure is a dirty place to work ;-)

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