Inspired by Adam Savage’s almost-authentic Mercury spacesuit—but lacking about $8,000—I decided that I would make my own NASA flight suit for my first Halloween as an elementary school principal. I ordered a bunch of authentic Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo mission patches from the NASA gift shop, plus my own name badge. I bought a flight suit from the army-navy store in North Conway, then invested in a pair of black boots. (I reasoned that I’d need them this winter, but they don’t seem terribly warm.).
That stuff was relatively cheap and easy to get. The only trouble was the helmet. They don’t make realistic replica space helmets. The only ones online look like crap. I did find this video for a papier-mâché DIY space helmet, and figured it would be my best bet.
I didn’t do quite as good a job as the kid in the video. The soda bottle faceplate was tough to work with. The papier-mâché started easy, but rapidly got hard to control and I ended up with a bit of a lopsided mess. Still, the taplights inside the helmet look kinda cool, I guess.
I’ve got four NASA mission patches on my suit, honoring the following:
• First American in space, Apollo 14 commander/golf pro, and New Hampshire native Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7.
• Gemini 4, which featured the first American spacewalk.
• Apollo 11, obviously.
• STS-61, the first Hubble telescope repair mission.
The “build” for the helmet: