John W. Young was a legendary astronaut:

  • The first American in space after the original Mercury Seven, as Gus Grissom's co-pilot in Gemini 3. He got in trouble during this flight for smuggling aboard a corned beef sandwich.
  • Commanded Gemini 10. He successfully rendezvoused with two Agena targets, the second of which was a dead spacecraft.
  • Flew the Apollo 10 command module solo while his crewmates in the lunar module performed a "dress rehearsal" of the lunar landing. With his crewmates, he is the fastest human in history (24,791 mph).
  • Walked (and drove) on the moon as the Commander of Apollo 16.
  • Was the first person to fly a shuttle in space, as Commander of STS-1.
  • Had his sixth and last spaceflight on the Space Shuttle, as Commander of STS-9.
  • On the backup crews for Gemini 6, Apollo 7, Apollo 13, and Apollo 17.
  • Scheduled as the Commander of STS-61J to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope, but the mission was delayed four years by the Challenger disaster. By then, Young had retired as an astronaut.
  • He also served as the Chief of the Astronaut Office and was not afraid to confront NASA administrators about safety concerns. Many of his peers regard him as the greatest astronaut of all time.

This question asks about how many spacesuits were custom-made for Apollo astronauts. The answer to that question documents Young's Apollo suits, and comments speculate that he may have a record for the most custom-made spacesuits. Including Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle, how many spacesuits were specifically manufactured for John Young? Do not include those suits that were intended to be shared by many astronauts (e.g. training suits, modular suits).

John Young photo: How you doin'?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps I can seed a discussion by sharing some anecdotal, first person observations: Can't speak for the pre-STS days, but, I'm guessin' that no "space suits" were custom made for Col Young for his two Shuttle missions. AFAIK, during that program, the launch and entry suits were all "off the shelf" items (wrt to basic sizing - and I can tell you that mine did not fit very well) and the EMUs were of a modular design, each major component being standardized wrt sizing. Hope this helps! $\endgroup$
    – Digger
    Apr 30, 2020 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


I've found the serial numbers of at least 10 spacesuits that were worn only by Young:

  • Gemini 3 Pilot: model G3C, serial number G3C-4.

  • Gemini 6 backup Pilot: model G3C, serial unknown.

  • Gemini 10 Command Pilot: model G4C, serial number G4C-19.

  • Apollo 7 backup Command Module Pilot: flight suit 008.

  • Apollo 10 Command Module Pilot: flight suit [043], backup suit 048.

  • Apollo 13 backup Commander: flight suit 086.

  • Apollo 16 Commander: flight suit 322; backup suit 326 and training suit 303 which he also used as backup Commander for Apollo 17, but no one else used them.

  • Apollo 17 backup Commander: re-used his 326 and 303 suits from Apollo 16.

  • STS-1 Commander: Ejection Escape Suit, model S1030A, serial 002 (of 13 made), size medium-regular, color dark gold.

  • STS-9 Commander: No launch suits; all crew members wore shirtsleeves and the Launch Escape Helmet. No EVAs by anyone.

  • STS-61J Commander: Scheduled, delayed by the Challenger disaster, he retired before the mission resumed. Probably would have worn a stock Launch Escape Suit.

Apollo suits were all model A7L.

Prior to NASA, he was a Navy fighter pilot and a Navy test pilot. Whatever flight suits he may have used in those roles are not included here.

  • $\begingroup$ "he retired before the mission resumed" He retired in 2004. If you are saying he volunteered to stop flying missions, citation needed. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2020 at 15:04

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