ILC Dover Introduces Line of Adaptive Commercial Spacesuits

Astro™ EVA (R), and Sol™ LEA (L) spacesuits. (Credit: ILC Dover)

FREDERICA, Del., August 28, 2019 (ILC Dover PR) — Space. Vast and unknown. Commercial spaceflight might barely make a dent in the enigma with more visitors but ILC Dover, maker of the spacesuits that took the giant leap on the Moon in 1969, is ready. The company recently rolled out its first line of commercial spacesuits this month with the launch of Astro™, the EVA (Extravehicular Activity) spacesuit, and Sol™, the LEA (Launch, Entry and Abort) spacesuit.

“These suits mark the next generation for ILC Dover,” said CEO Fran DiNuzzo. “We were at the forefront during the first manned space missions and helped change the world. We’re excited to do it again as we go back to the Moon and on to Mars.”

Building a More Personalized Spacesuit

Beyond Boundaries™ is more than just a saying for ILC Dover; it’s the foundation. Its engineers recognize that innovation, curiosity and the drive for excellence are at the forefront of human endeavor.

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Collins Aerospace, ILC Dover Unveil Next Gen Space Suit

Prototype spacesuit (Credit: Collins Aerospace)
  • Companies funded and designed the suit system with NASA and commercial customer applications in mind
  • Suit system could be used for lunar surface missions in partial gravity, orbital space station missions in microgravity and future planetary missions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Collins Aerospace PR) – Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), joined with ILC Dover today [July 25] to unveil a Next Generation Space Suit system prototype designed for future missions. The unveiling took place at a United Technologies event on Capitol Hill featuring the company’s past, present and future contributions to manned space exploration as part of a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission.

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Final Frontier Design Receives NASA Funding to Develop Lunar Boot

NASA has selected Final Frontier Design of Brooklyn, NY, for funding to develop an advanced boot for astronauts to walk on the moon.

The award under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program is worth $125,000 over six months.

The Surface Space Suit Boot (SSSB) “leverages decades of Lunar boot development and includes an advanced ankle mobility joint, a unique closure system, next generation outer garment materials, and an advanced polymer that will withstand the harsh environment of the moon,” the company said in its proposal summary.

The proposal summary follows.

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Florida Tech, Embry Riddle to Collaborate on Spaceflight Research

A spacesuit is tested as part of the collaboration between Florida Tech and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. (Credit: Florida Tech)

Goal to Improve Human Performance on Flight Decks, in Cabins

MELBOURNE, FLA. (Florida Tech PR) — Florida Institute of Technology and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have announced a year-long collaboration on research involving spaceflight with the goal of improving human performance inside spacecraft.

The joint effort involves Florida Tech’s Human Spaceflight Lab, or HSF, directed by Ondrej Doule, and Embry-Riddle’s S.U.I.T. (Spacesuit Utilization of Innovative Technology) Lab, and its principal investigator, Ryan Kobrick.

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NASA Funds Final Frontier Design for Low-Cost Personal Life Support System

Spacewalker Kate Rubins works outside the International Space Station with the SpaceX Dragon space freighter just below her. (Credit: NASA TV)

Final Frontier Design (FFD) has been selected for NASA funding to develop a low-cost personal life support system for spacesuits that would use commercial off-the-shelf components and be discarded after use.

The space agency selected the Brooklyn-based company’s proposal for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 program. The contract is worth up to $125,000 for as long as 13 months.

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A Look Back at the Space Year That Was

Total solar eclipse photographed from NASA Armstrong’s Gulfstream III. (Credit: (NASA/Carla Thomas)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

I realize it’s a bit late, but here’s a look back at the major developments in space in 2017.

I know that I’m probably forgetting something, or several somethings or someones. Fortunately, I have eagle-eyed readers who really seem to enjoy telling me just how much I’ve screwed up. Some of them a little too much….

So, have at it!  Do your worst, eagle-eyed readers!

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Final Frontier Design Completes Testing & Validation of IVA Suit

IVA spacesuit in a “float” test. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, December 20, 2017 (FFD PR) – Final Frontier Design (FFD) completed 4 microgravity research flights on Zero Gravity Corporation’s (ZERO-G) Boeing 727, in November 2017, to evaluate and qualify their Intra Vehicular Activity (IVA) space suit for the dynamic environment of space flight.

The testing marks the culmination of a NASA Flight Opportunities Program cooperative agreement with FFD, and was supported by Integrated Spaceflight Services (ISS) of Boulder, Colorado. A team of 15 people from FFD and ISS assisted to safely execute the mission.

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Another Orion Worry: Spacesuits

Spacewalker Kate Rubins works outside the International Space Station with the SpaceX Dragon space freighter just below her. (Credit: NASA TV)

The NASA Office of Inspector General has published another audit of the agency’s human spaceflight effort, and  the watchdog has found yet another area of concern: spacesuits being developed for Orion deep-space missions and the aging ones on the International Space Station.

“Despite spending nearly $200 million on NASA’s next-generation spacesuit technologies, the Agency remains years away from having a flight-ready spacesuit capable of replacing the EMU or suitable for use on future exploration missions,” the audit states. “As different missions require different designs, the lack of a formal plan and specific destinations for future missions has complicated spacesuit development. Moreover, the Agency has reduced the funding dedicated to spacesuit development in favor of other priorities such as an in-space habitat….

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Boeing Unveils Starliner Spacesuit

starliner_spacesuit_montage
By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Astronauts heading into orbit aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will wear lighter and more comfortable spacesuits than earlier suits astronauts wore. The suit capitalizes on historical designs, meets NASA requirements for safety and functionality, and introduces cutting-edge innovations. Boeing unveiled its spacesuit design Wednesday as the company continues to move toward flight tests of its Starliner spacecraft and launch systems that will fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

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Final Frontier Design Delivers MCP Gloves to NASA

Closeup screenshot of FFD’s pressure visualization and video documentation setup. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)
Closeup screenshot of FFD’s pressure visualization and video documentation setup. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

BROOKLYN, NY, October 28, 2016 (FFD PR) – Final Frontier Design (FFD) has delivered a pair of functional Mechanical Counter Pressure (MCP) gloves to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This marks a major milestone in FFD’s fixed-price contract with NASA for MCP gloves and represents a promising alternative in space suit pressure garment design.

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FFD Completes Round of Spacesuit Testing with Project PoSSUM

Infrared cam shot of PoSSUM Academy participants Michael Long and Abdelraouf Elwaqad testing FFD space suits in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s suborbital spaceflight simulator. (Credit: Nicholas Mercury Carlstrom)
Infrared cam shot of PoSSUM Academy participants Michael Long and Abdelraouf Elwaqad testing FFD space suits in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s suborbital spaceflight simulator. (Credit: Nicholas Mercury Carlstrom)

BROOKLYN, NY, May 3, 2016 (FFD PR) – Last month, Final Frontier Design (FFD) completed another round of space suit testing in Daytona, Florida as part of Project PoSSUM, in conjunction with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).

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Integrated Spaceflight Services Completes First Commercial Spacesuit Zero G Test

Evaluation of spacesuit in zero gravity.
Evaluation of spacesuit in zero gravity. (Credit: ISS)

OTTAWA, Ont., October 29, 2015 (ISS PR) — Integrated Spaceflight Services LLC (‘ISS’) of Boulder, Colo. announced today that it has completed the first zero g evaluation of a commercial spacesuit. The 3G IVA spacesuit, manufactured by Final Frontier Design (‘FFD’) of Brooklyn, N.Y., was tested through four zero g flights on a specially-modified Falcon 20 research aircraft..

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NASA’s High Performance EVA Glove Development Program

Prototype outer glove protective layer. (Credit: NASA)
Prototype outer glove protective layer. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Fact Sheet
Space Technology Game Changing Development
Next Generation Life Support: High Performance EVA Glove

NASA’s future missions involve deep space exploration to places where humans have not gone before. This poses many new challenges for which the existing astronaut extravehicu­lar activity (EVA) gloves are not designed. Current gloves are limited to use outside the International Space Station where the environment is relatively pristine and free from the debris and dust present in lunar, planetary and asteroid environments. Thermal conditions may also vary and require different technological approaches to ensure that the astronauts are protected. In addition to environmental differences that may necessitate design changes to the glove, hand injuries are one of the most common injuries that astronauts face. Over the past two decades, gloves have accounted for 47% of all reported injuries. While gloves have been modified over the years to address these issues, they are due for a full redesign.

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Final Frontier Design Wins NASA Spacesuit Glove Contract

FFD evaluating tactility of an early-stage MCP glove prototype in delta pressure conditions. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)
FFD evaluating tactility of an early-stage MCP glove prototype in delta pressure conditions. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

BROOKLYN, NY, August 24, 2015 (FFD PR) – Last week, Final Frontier Design (FFD) was awarded its first fixed-price contract for the delivery of a functioning mechanical counter pressure (MCP) glove system next Summer.

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