Apollo astronauts who ventured outside of the protective confines of their pressurized capsules faced a number of hazards, among them: exposure to cosmic debris, solar radiation, and surface temperatures that widely varied. The suit also needed to accommodate a wide range of motion to allow the duties of the missions to be successfully accomplished.
This 50,000-ton die-forging press is among the largest fabrication tools in the world. It was designed and built for the U.S. Air Force by the Mesta Machine Company of Pittsburgh, following the discovery of a 30,000-ton press used by the Germans in World War II (later acquired by the Soviet Union). By 1950, a Heavy Press Program was organized to establish a self-sustaining industrial base for a press capable of producing large forgings and extrusions for the United States. The 50,000-ton Mesta press was one of the first built under this program between 1952 and 1955.