A Space Suit Ahead of Its Time

Bill Elkins demonstrates the mobility of the EX-1A, which he developed at AiResearch in the late 1960s. It was the first suit to use his patented toroidal joints, and was the most mobile suit that had been created at that time. (Most of the motions in this video would not have been possible in the Apollo suit.) The EX-1A (which on the moon would have been covered with a cloth material) is pressurized 35 percent higher than the Apollo suits. Those suits required considerable effort to move, and had pneumatic spring forces that rebounded to the neutral position. By contrast, the EX-1A joints were very low-torque and came much closer to mimicking the full mobility of the human body. Video: Courtesy Bill Elkins (4:20 )

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