DuPont Launches National Sponsorship of Smithsonian Exhibition: “Suited for Space”

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Traveling Exhibit will Showcase Innovations, Achievements to Protect Lives in Space

DuPont is proud to partner with the Smithsonian on this important national exhibition.

DuPont is the national sponsor of “Suited for Space,” a new exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition, which begins a five-year U.S. tour at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in March 2011, tells the story of innovations, technical achievements and challenges in the development of protective garments that have allowed astronauts to live and work in space.

“DuPont is proud to partner with the Smithsonian on this important national exhibition,” said Mark P. Vergnano, DuPont executive vice president. “It showcases the unprecedented collective efforts of hundreds of companies and agencies to protect lives in space, the net effect of which could only have been achieved when innovative science and collaboration were put to the service of an important goal.”

Twenty of the 21 layers of the Apollo moon suits either contained or were made entirely of science-based innovations developed by DuPont. Nylon, neoprene coated nylon, Nomex® fibers, Mylar® polyester film, Kapton® polyimide film and Krytox® performance lubricants are just a few of the products that were used then, and continue to be used today in space and on earth.

Over 500 million people in more than 40 countries on five continents watched as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon for the first time. When Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin walked out into the moon’s sunlight, the day’s temperature could reach 253 F (123 C). At night, outside the lunar module the moon’s temperature dropped to minus 387 F (minus 233 C). DuPont was the only company at the time with the diversity of high-performance materials in its portfolio to protect these space pioneers.

The company continues to produce and innovate on some of the world’s best known product brands today:

  •     DuPont™ Kevlar® fibers, used to provide strength and flexibility in spacesuits, are used in bullet-resistant body armor to protect law enforcement officers, first responders and the military. DuPont also has introduced a new technology platform, Kevlar® XP™, which provides lighter weight protection for body armor, and for hard armor in helmets and vehicles.
  •     DuPont™ Nomex® fibers, used as strong protective layers in spacesuits, also are used in garments to protect firefighters, soldiers and race car drivers. Last year, DuPont introduced the first “smart” fiber that protect lives ? Nomex® On Demand™, which acts, when needed, to provide 20 percent more thermal protection.
  •     DuPont™ Kapton® polyimide film, used in two layers of the Apollo suits because of its durability and thermal stability, is a critical material for high reliability in the electronics industry.
  •     DuPont™ Krytox® performance lubricants, first used by NASA for the Apollo space flights, in the traction motors on the lunar rover and as a lubricant for spacesuits, work at both low and high temperature extremes to protect everything from computer chip manufacture to industrial and automotive applications to the latest civilian and military aircraft.
  •     Mylar® polyester film, used in several layers of Apollo spacesuits because of its toughness and flexibility, is used in diverse applications for the electrical, electronics, industrial specialty, imaging and graphics, and packaging markets.

DuPont’s sponsorship reflects the company’s commitment to protecting people and the environment though innovative protective apparel, building materials, safety training, and environmentally sensitive and sustainable solutions.

DuPont (http://www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, Nomex®, Mylar®, Kapton®, Krytox®, Kevlar® and Kevlar® XP™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

For more information on Suited for Space visit: http://www.facebook.com/suitedforspace
Smithsonian Media Contact: Christin Chism, chismc(at)si(dot)edu or (202) 633-3159

For fact sheets on DuPont products in spacesuits and in space visit:
http://www2.dupont.com/Media_Center/en_US/assets/downloads/pdf/DuPont_SpaceSuit_FactSheet.pdf
http://www2.dupont.com/Media_Center/en_US/assets/downloads/pdf/DuPont_SpaceEarth_FactSheet.pdf

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Cathy Andriadis
DuPont
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