Saving space suits: Conservators try to stop the degradation of NASA's outer space outfits
The Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum (NASM), which hosts the world's largest collection of US space suits, is aimed to stop the degradation that is occurring in NASA's outer space outfits due to various reasons. Studies have found that the materials used in the NASA space suits was a mix of natural latex rubber and synthetic neoprene rubber, which are sensitive to oxygen degradation. Degradation problems are also occurring due to aluminum used in older Mercury missions and sweat that leads to corrosion. The NASM conservation team is searching a salt-corrosion inhibitor and is seeking help from scientists who help the Navy with its aircraft corrosion issues. The space suits' nylon and rubber interiors are also susceptible to small populations of fungi that curators do not want to fight with pesticides. NASM curators have also established stricter regulations for display and are carefully interrogating other museums that want to borrow the space suits.
Everts, S. (2011). Saving space suits: Conservators try to stop the degradation of NASA's outer space outfits. doi:10.1021/cen-v089n019.p040