Securing Success for NASA Astronauts
VELCRO® Brand products on the Moon
VELCRO® Brand is one of a few that can say we were there on July 20, 1969, when mankind stepped onto the moon for the very first time. VELCRO® Brand fasteners played an integral role in that historic event.
NASA repeatedly turned to Velcro Companies to design and engineer an extensive range of hook and loop fasteners that could solve certain perils of space travel and help ensure the success of arguably one of the most momentous occasions in human history.
NASA leveraged the durability, reliability, strength and versatility of VELCRO® Brand fasteners to help solve some of the engineering challenges of space travel, including extreme environments, zero gravity, limited dexterity in space suits and many unknowns.
NASA engineers favored VELCRO® Brand hook and loop when designing equipment for use in outer space. VELCRO® Brand products were corrosion proof, durable and flexible. They could be used to support astronauts in orbit and connect vital equipment to the exterior of NASA spacecraft.
VELCRO® Brand hook and loop covered approximately 3,300 square inches of the interior and exterior of the Apollo 11 command and lunar modules. These uses, some of which were specified by the mission astronauts themselves, included:
- Heat shields
- Instruments secured to space suits
- Anchoring astronauts’ feet in boots
- Watch straps
- Feeding tubes
- Breathing apparatus storage
- Inside spacecraft to keep instruments and tools organized secured
- Securing camera equipment
- Nose scratching sticks inside helmets
Astronauts find Clever Uses for VELCRO® Brand Products
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) repeatedly turned to Velcro Companies to help solve the wide range of engineering challenges presented by space travel including the perils of weightlessness.
Many NASA instruments featuring VELCRO® Brand fasteners are on display in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Others are now prized, private possessions. The wristwatch, featuring the VELCRO® Brand watch band, worn by NASA commander David Scott while walking on the moon in 1972 recently sold at auction for more than $1.3 million.
Customized and suitable for the temperature and gravity challenges of outer space, the original jam-proof fasteners used in space travel were lightweight and flexible, allowing astronauts to secure key items in zero-gravity environments within space modules.
Many NASA astronauts became fond of the reliability and adaptability of VELCRO® Brand products, incorporating them playfully into their shuttle routines.
Some NASA astronauts built VELCRO® Brand hook-and-loop tape into their helmets, so they could scratch their noses while in outer space, while others played darts with tips made of hook and loop, rather than the usual metal.
VELCRO® Brand closures were widely used to secure critical scientific equipment to both command and lunar modules, along with moon Rover units.
Nearly all items within the Apollo 11 spacecraft featured VELCRO® Brand fastening solutions that enabled astronauts to secure instruments (and even things like writing utensils and bags of food) without them floating away.
VELCRO® Brand MID-TEMP Fastener
VELCRO® Brand MID-TEMP fastener was designed to be used on the outside of the capsule and could withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius). This Jam-Proof and corrosion resistant fastener could also be positioned to help the astronauts cling to the slippery surface of the capsule while in space.
VELCRO® Brand HI-GARDE® Fastener
We developed the stainless steel VELCRO® Brand HI-GARDE® fastener to withstand the extreme temperatures of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA developed a refurbish-able ablation shield to protect astronauts from the extreme heat. NASA challenged us to create a fastener to secure the ablation shield to the capsule and withstand temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 degrees Celsius) during re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.
VELCRO® Brand Fire Resistant Fasteners
Responding to NASA requests, we quickly designed a fire-resistant fastener used on spacesuits and other applications. These VELCRO® Brand Fire Resistant Fasteners were a special series of hook and loop tapes designed to meet the mission critical environmental conditions of the space program.
The same space-tested VELCRO® Brand fasteners are still trusted today to provide solutions, from hanging to organizing, to help customers accomplish missions in their everyday lives.