How Was Velcro Used in Space Flight?

Velcro is a hook-and-loop nylon fastener that is part of many of the products we use today. It is commonly used as fasteners in shoes, athletic equipment, uniforms and bags. It's also available in stick-on form for household uses. This strip fastener has not only been used by millions of people around the world, but also in space flight.

Apollo program astronauts used Velcro strips for many different types of things. Since there is no gravity in space, astronauts used Velcro to keep objects, and even themselves in place. The fastener allowed astronauts to walk more easily in the spacecraft and helped them sleep by keeping them attached to one spot. Astronauts even stuck a Velcro strip in their helmets to scratch their faces when they got an itch.

Astronauts used Velcro so much that some people thought that NASA had invented the fastener.

More about Velcro:

  • Velcro was invented in 1941 by Swiss engineer, Georges de Mestral, who was inspired by burrs in nature.

  • The popularity of Velcro skyrocketed in the 1980s when many American children wore shoes with Velcro straps.

  • The US Army introduced Velcro to uniforms in 2004, but removed them in 2010 due to complaints from soldiers. One of the major complaints was that Velcro fasteners made too much noise, alerting enemies.

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An electrical spark assisted by Velcro and 100 percent oxygen burned up Apollo 1 and all three astronauts! (Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee)

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