Tag: spacesuits

Starfighters, Final Frontier Design Announce Stategic Partnership

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Final Frontier Design's 3G suit with cover garment with a Starfighter F-104 in the taxi area of the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

Final Frontier Design’s 3G suit with cover garment with a Starfighters F-104 in the taxi area of the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 4, 2014 (SFA/FFD PR) — Starfighters Aerospace (SFA) and Final Frontier Design (FFD) are pleased to announce a strategic partnership to integrate and optimize the FFD 3G Space Suit for SFA’s F-104 supersonic jets.

The 3G Space Suit is an Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) safety garment designed to protect pilots in a high altitude environment. Integration with life support and ejection systems, as well as design optimization for the fighter’s cockpit, will take place in 2014. The 3G suit will enable SFA high altitude research flights and suborbital point-to-point pathfinder missions within the next year.

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Orbital Outfitters Moving to Midland

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orbital_outfittersThere’s a report out of Midland, Texas about plans for Los Angeles-based spacesuit manufacturer Orbital Outfitters to move there:

This week Midland Development Corp. approved a nearly $7 million agreement which will permit Orbital Outfitters to manage and operate a $3.2 million altitude chamber facility, which MDC will own. According to news reports, the board will also provide the firm with an incentive of $2.2 million to construct its headquarters in the Lone Star State city, along with $1.5 million to assist in its relocation from California.

The agenda for MDC’s meeting on Jan. 24 lists three measures concerning Orbital Outfitters: an economic agreement, the lease of a two-acre tract at the Midland International Airport by the city of Midland, and a sublease of that tract to the company. No details are provided.

Orbital Outfitters will join XCOR Aerospace, which has an agreement with Midland to move its research and development facility to the West Texas city. Lee Valentine, who is one of XCOR’s lead investors, also is a co-founder of Orbital Outfitters.

ILC Dover Awarded NASA Contract for Next Generation Spacesuit

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ILC_Dover_newsuits

FREDERICA, DE (ILC Dover PR) – ILC Dover, the designer and manufacturer of NASA’s space suits and a wide range of engineered film and fabric products, announced today it was awarded an 18 month contract to design, manufacture and test the next generation of NASA’s Spacesuits – the Z-2. The new suit, designed for enhanced spacewalk capability, will operate at higher pressure levels than previous models, which will greatly improve exploration work efficiency.

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NASA Selects Final Frontier Design for Two SBIR Phase I Awards

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Credit: Final Frontier Design

BROOKLYN, NY (FFD PR) – Final Frontier Design (FFD) is pleased to announce that NASA has selected their company for contract negotiations for 2 separate Phase I Small Business Innovative [sic] Research (SBIR) awards, for total potential contracts of $250,000 in 2013. FFD is a small business based in Brooklyn, NY, developing space safety garments for the commercial space industry.

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Final Frontier Design Launches Kickstarter Campaign for New Spacesuit

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Final Frontier Design, which won second prize in NASA’s Astronaut Glove Challenge in 2009, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to develop an affordable spacesuit for the space tourism market. To donate, click here.

The Kickstarter description of the product:

At FFD, we are working together to bring our vision of a lightweight, inexpensive, and highly functional space suit to the new space industry. Our Kickstarter goal, the FFD Third Generation (3G) Suit, will be built to conform to the standards of NASA flight certification to the best of our ability, and will feature upgrades to our 2011 Second Generation (2G) Suit (pictured with Nik), including a higher operating pressure, a carbon fiber waist ring, a retractable helmet, and improved gloves and glove disconnects. Our plan is to complete construction of this 3G Suit before 2013.

Our 3G suit is intended for IVA, or Intra Vehicular Activity, that is, launch and re-entry, for commercial space providers both suborbital and orbital. Basically IVA suits are a safety backup in case of an emergency loss of cabin pressure, like the oxygen masks in commercial airliners. The future commercial space industry (SpaceX, Boeing, Sierra Nevada, Virgin, Armadillo, XCOR, etc) will need these suits for the basic safety of manned flights. Current NASA suits cost well into the millions, while our 3G is intended to retail for a small fraction of this.

Space Access 12: Jeff Feige of Orbital Outfitters

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Jeff Feige
Orbital Outfitters

  • Clients include XCOR, SpaceX and NASA
  • Primarily produce spacesuits
  • Lately been involved in developing vehicle mockups
  • Spacsuits are not stand-alone off-the-rack but are integrated subsystem of the vehicle — need to be integrated with environmental and life support systems, seats, doors, etc.
  • Many questions to consider in developing suits
  • How much mobility?
  • What are realistic emergency scenarios
  • Would occupants have to bail out?
  • What are you protecting the wearer from other than pressure loss? Fire? Chemicals? Thermal?
  • Doesn’t agree with the we don’t need a suit, my vehicle is robust
  • Of course it’s a robust vehicle
  • “Well…shit happens”
  • Spacesuit is a last line of defense
  • Several examples of incidents in spaceflight without spacesuits
  • Soyuz 11 — crew died when spacecraft depressurized in space and crew didn’t have pressure suits on — suits would have saved the crew
  • Apollo-Soyuz crew nearly died when gases from RSC thruster entered cabin through an open vent during descent — crew not wearing suits
  • spacesuits were not integrated into space shuttle — retrofitted after the Challenger accident

 

 

SwRI Researchers Test Next-Gen Suborbital Spacesuits

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Dr. Alan Stern performed 20 runs aboard a NASTAR STS-400 High Performance Human Centrifuge, with some runs reaching the 6-G accelerations that many suborbital launches will create. (Credit: Southwest Research Institute)

Worcester, Massachusetts — Nov. 16, 2011 — Two researchers set to fly aboard suborbital spacecraft as a part of Southwest Research Institute’s next-generation suborbital research program completed another milestone on November 2nd when they evaluated David Clark Company’s latest version of aerospace crew protective equipment designed for the commercial spaceflight industry. The two research scientists conducted evaluations of the Contingency Hypobaric Astronaut Protective Suit (CHAPS) during an intensive series of centrifuge runs designed to simulate the anticipated launch and entry profiles that will be experienced aboard suborbital spacecraft.

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Video: Spacesuit Prototype Tested in Antarctica

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Testing of the NDX-1 space suit at the Marambio Base, Antarctica. The NDX-1 space suit was developed at the Space Suit Laboratory, Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota.

Shuttle Veteran Bloomfield Joins Oceaneering

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OCEANEERING PRESS RELEASE

Oceaneering International, Inc. (NYSE:OII) announced that ex-astronaut Michael J. (“Mike”) Bloomfield has joined Oceaneering as its Vice President and General Manager of Oceaneering Space Systems.

Mr. Bloomfield is a veteran Astronaut of three Space Shuttle flights.  Selected as a NASA Astronaut in 1994, Mike served as Pilot on STS-86 and STS-jj97 and as Commander of STS-110.  While at NASA he also held important positions with the Astronaut Office including Chief of Safety and Chief Instructor Astronaut. Additionally, Mr. Bloomfield was Director of Shuttle Operations and Chief of the Shuttle Branch. He also served as Deputy Director of the Flight Crew Operations Directorate (FCOD) before leaving NASA in 2007 to join ATK as Vice President for Houston Operations.  In his new role at Oceaneering, Mr. Bloomfield will lead Oceaneering’s Space System Division, where he has responsibility for all aspects of the business.

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Video: Dava Newman Shows Off Her Flexible Spacesuit Design

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MIT Professor and spacesuit designer Dava Newman shows off her design for a flexible spacesuit. This is a series of videos for the PBS science show Nova. Another video after the break. Continue reading ‘Video: Dava Newman Shows Off Her Flexible Spacesuit Design’