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DuPont News, May 5, 2011

DuPont-sponsored ‘Suited for Space’ Exhibition Takes Off

Mark Vergnano, General John Dailey, Anna Cohn, Jeff Gordon and Tom Powell in front of a replica of the Apollo lunar module. 
Mark Vergnano, General John Dailey, Anna Cohn, Jeff Gordon and Tom Powell in front of a replica of the Apollo lunar module.
Vlodek Gabara and NASA spacesuit engineer Joseph Kosmo during the panel discussion. 
Vlodek Gabara and NASA spacesuit engineer Joseph Kosmo during the panel discussion.
Joseph Kosmo, NASA; Jeff Gordon, Joseph Kerwin and Vlodek Garbara in front of a replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module. 
Joseph Kosmo, NASA; Jeff Gordon, Joseph Kerwin and Vlodek Garbara in front of a replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module.
Former astronaut Joseph Kerwin and Jeff Gordon. 
Former astronaut Joseph Kerwin and Jeff Gordon.
DuPont recently co-hosted a reception and panel discussion at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the launch of “Suited for Space,” a new, DuPont-sponsored exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Mark Vergnano, DuPont executive vice president; General John Dailey, director, National Air and Space Museum; and Anna Cohn, director, SITES; hosted the event that was attended by more than 70 customers and Congressional representatives.  Also in attendance were DuPont Protection Technologies (DPT) President Tom Powell; DPT Vice President – North America, Bill Weber; and DuPont Government Affairs Vice President Barry Granger.  NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon appeared on behalf of DuPont and spoke about the important role DuPont materials such as DuPont™ Nomex® and Kevlar® brand fibers play in protecting him everyday on the race track.

The reception was followed by a panel discussion for the public. The panel included Joseph Kerwin, M.D., former astronaut and the science-pilot for Skylab 2; Joseph Kosmo, spacesuit engineer, NASA; Amanda Young, curator emeritus, National Air and Space Museum; and Vlodek Gabara, DuPont Fellow, DPT.

“DuPont is proud to be the national sponsor of the traveling exhibit, ‘Suited for Space,’” Mark said.  “It’s a wonderful testimony to the unprecedented, collaborative efforts undertaken by so many so we could travel into space and return home again safely. “’Suited for Space’ showcases what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors together bring science-powered innovations to problem solving ─ in this case, keeping people safe and protected.”

He added, “DuPont and its customers have been a part of this noble adventure since the birth of spaceflight.  Twenty of the 21 layers of the Apollo moon suits either contained or were made entirely of DuPont’s miracle materials.  And these materials were first developed to meet the needs of people here on earth ─ high-performance products that protect our soldiers, law enforcement and first responders.”

The exhibition, which recently began a five-year U.S. tour at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Ill., 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.

Learn more about “Suited for Space.”