MOJAVE, Calif., Oct. 1, 2013 (Luna Desic PR) – Luna Desic of Mojave, Calif., is pleased to announce the completion of a partial pressure suit under a $20,000 grant from SpaceGAMBIT.
“We’re very pleased to have been selected by SpaceGAMBIT for this award,” said Luna Desic Founder and CEO Robert McBrayer. “The competition was tough for awards. We’re very grateful to Jerry Isdale and Maiu Makers for having confidence in us and selecting our project.”
Luna Desic’s SilSuit was one of nine projects selected for funding out of nearly 50 qualified submissions. Maui Makers, LLC received a two-year grant of $500,000 from the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in September 2012 to manage SpaceGAMBIT and fund community spaces (maker spaces, hacker spaces, fab labs, etc.) to work on open-source projects that help build mankind into a space-faring civilization.
The idea for the project came from when McBrayer used to work at a haunted house in the Atlanta area. He would wear rubber masks, which gave him the idea of using similar material for a spacesuit.
“The goal is to use the spacesuit project to test out materials that can flex better by the human body,” McBrayer said. “We believe this material can be more comfortable for future astronauts.”
McBrayer and business partner Ethan Chew obtained the grant as a member of the Mojave Makers, a new hacker space that began at the Mojave Air and Space Port in 2012. The SpaceGAMBIT award is the first grant that the Mojave Makers has received.
McBrayer and Chew, who is president of the Mojave Makers, have been working on the project for the last few weeks. They have produced several parts of the spacesuits using molds.
“The project has had a good start,” Chew said. “We’ve constructed initial prototypes for testing and are refining our techniques for the build. It’s been good progress.”
The other member of the team is Parabolicarc.com managing editor Douglas Messier, who will be doing publicity for the project and providing regular updates on it on his popular space news website.
“Space research was, until recently, just for governments and private companies,” SpaceGAMBIT said in a statement. “The democratising power of new technologies like 3D printing has recently brought space research within reach of everyone. The SpaceGAMBIT program helps accelerate this work with funding and open source distribution.”
“In 1969 Neil Armstrong took one small step for man,” added Alex Cureton-Griffiths, UK/Europe project lead for SpaceGAMBIT, “Now it’s up to the rest of us to help mankind take that one giant leap. Through programs like SpaceGAMBIT, we encourage everyone to do their part, make a difference and take humanity to the next level.”
In addition to Luna Desic’s SilSuit, SpaceGAMBIT also funded the following projects:
- BioMONSTAAAR – an automated photobioreactor
- Hackerspace Earthship – a closed-cycle habitat for human habitation
- Hacker Scouts Space Badge – a series of space related activities and badges for kids
- Make-a-Space – detailed project plan and guidelines to create makerspaces
- Open Bioreactor – a cheap, easy-to-build bioreactor
- PSWARM – printing vacuum compatible planetary rover components
- SatStatSim – educational simulator of satellites and small space stations
- Space Hacker Workshop – workshop to develop suborbital experiments.
All the project funded are to be completed in four months.
“We’re very proud to be part of the first group of project funded,” McBrayer said. “Being among the first is both an honor and an extra responsibility. We’re committed to doing this project right so that SPACEGAMBIT can continue to fund vital development in the future.
About Luna Desic
Luna Desic is a NewSpace start-up company dedicated to building the next generation spacesuit and other space products.
SpaceGAMBIT is an international collaboration of space enthusiasts, operating through maker spaces, hacker spaces and other community groups. GAMBIT stands for Global Alliance of Makers Building Interstellar Technologies. We’re passionate about making space research and exploration accessible to everyone. We’re here to help humanity to survive and expand into space by building grassroots collaborative activities that encourage related education and project development. We enable hacker spaces, maker spaces and other open community groups to work together to carry out space-related research and development, and engage any interested member of their local community in those activities. To learn more, visit http://www.spacegambit.org/.
About Mojave Makers
Mojave Makers is an open-membership maker/hacker space founded in 2012 in Mojave, Calif. It is dedicated to providing its members with work space to pursue their own projects in a safe and collaborative environment. The maker space is also focused on providing educational programs for local youth. Mojave Makers has workshop and office space at Mojave High School kindly donated by the Mojave Unified School District. Please follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MojaveMakers.