This vintage, Apollo XI Beta cloth was signed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin and has been paired with a photo of Aldrin and framed into a handsome presentation. A Beta cloth is a fire proof material woven from teflon coated glass fibres. It was supplied to NASA for use as the outer layer of the Apollo space suits and in-flight garments worn by the astronauts after the Apollo 1 fire.
Owens Corning contracted out the printing of NASA’s beta cloth patches to the Screen Print Corp. of Coventry Rhode Island. There the insignia were screen printed onto rolls of beta cloth using Roma Chemical Questral pigments. This label is on the back of the frame.
These were then cut into 9″ squares (or 5½” in the case of the ASTP patches) with the printed designs at the centers. The hand-drawn ‘cut lines’ for the edges of these squares are often visible on one or more sides of beta cloth patches.
The beta cloth patches were supplied to NASA in this form and were offered as souvenirs from missions without any further treatment.
More information: In order to reduce the use of flammable materials to a minimum it was logical that the mission patch, NASA insignia, U.S. flag, and name tag used on each space suit and coverall from Apollo 7 onwards would also be produced in beta cloth rather than embroidered cloth. In general these beta cloth patches were never made available commercially and are now sought-after collectibles.
This beta cloth is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Buzz Aldrin Ventures COO Linn LeBlanc with an image depicting Aldrin signing the piece.