Custom Mannequin for an original Gus Grissom NASA Spacesuit

Custom display mannequin for an original Gemini NASA Spacesuit worn by astronaut Gus Grissom

This vintage, original NASA spacesuit was used during training in the 1960’s  by the late astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom.  In the early 1960’s he was an integral part of Project Gemini which helped to develop many of the techniques which allowed Apollo 11 to eventually land on the moon in 1969.

Normally the spacesuits we create displays for are costumes used by actors. However, this was an authentic NASA suit which made this project even more unique and special!

It was important to both the client and our team that this Gemini spacesuit be treated with care and reverence, so we wanted to keep the display elements very simple and keep all of the attention on this historical artifact. We chose to go with a nearly invisible body form, which is why a customized display body was absolutely necessary.  A custom fiberglass mannequin was made to perfect fit and support the unique features of this specific spacesuit. To keep it invisible required making a figure without feet or hands, missing part of one arm (to match the missing arm of the suit) and with a specialized upper chest section.

One of the extra special elements about this suit is the tag in the rear neck area of the suit, which showed Grissom’s name, the date, and the model of spacesuit. Using a standard mannequin display form would have meant that label would have been covered and such a unique and interesting part of the history of the piece would no longer be visible. With our custom mannequin, we were able to come up with a form that would allow the tag to remain visible while safely supporting the heavy neck ring of this NASA space suit.

We finished off the display with a minimalistic black laminate base and a custom printed metal plaque featuring the Project Gemini logo. This clean and classy museum style display allowed all of the focus to remain on the suit and its historical significance.

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