Buzz Aldrin’s Comfort Glove, Apollo 11
t Comfort gloves, custom-made for each astronaut using plaster casts of their hands, were an optional layer designed to protect bare skin inside the larger spacesuit gloves. They wicked moisture, provided warmth, and prevented chafing.
Whether Buzz Aldrin opted to protect his hands from chafing is a matter of some controversy. The certificate of authenticity Aldrin provided when he first parted with the glove in 1993 says that it was “worn on the moon at Tranquility Base.” But in the Apollo 11 oral debriefing, a post-mission interview evaluating the effectiveness of NASA gear, Aldrin and Neil Armstrong both said they had “elected not” to wear the gloves on the moon.
This conundrum illustrates the vagaries of collecting historic objects: The difference between a glove a man wore inside his airtight spacesuit as he walked on the moon and a glove he wore inside his spacesuit at other times isn’t measurable or observable. But it makes a planetoid of difference to collectors like Steve Jurvetson, who owns the glove. A partner at the venture capital firm DFJ, he displays his collection in his Menlo Park, California office, where he welcomes up to 5,000 visitors a year—some of them fellow business leaders; others, students or Boy/girl Scouts who make organized visits. High-quality photos of his Apollo items can be found on his flickr page.