How a South Carolina mill played a role in Apollo 11’s mission to the moon

South Carolina News

SLATER, S.C. (WCBD) – At this time 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were on their way to the moon.

One tiny town in South Carolina played an important role in Apollo 11’s mission to the moon.

Before liftoff, NASA contracted Slater Mill to develop a specialized fiberglass fabric to be used for spacesuits. It came after discovering nylon-based suits burned in space.

Only some of the people working on the project actually knew they were working on the suits worn by Armstrong and Aldrin in the first moon landing and walk.

“They didn’t even tell their spouses let alone their children or anybody else,” said Ann Diamond with Slater Hall Citizens Committee. “It was very hush-hush until it was over.”

“The people weaving, they didn’t even know why they were doing it,” said Zachary Deuerling.

The fabric they created is called “beta fabric.” It’s a cloth that is actually made out of glass and can withstand extreme heat. The Slater Hall Citizens Committee says that without that fabric, the spacesuits would not have been durable.

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