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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
OCEANEERING PRESS RELEASE
Oceaneering International, Inc. (NYSE:OII) announced that ex-astronaut Michael J. (â€œMikeâ€) 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.Â Selected as a NASA Astronaut in 1994, Mike served as Pilot on STS-86 and STS-jj97 and as Commander of STS-110.Â 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.Â In his new role at Oceaneering, Mr. Bloomfield will lead Oceaneeringâ€™s Space System Division, where he has responsibility for all aspects of the business.
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’
Travel to space in ISRO suits that cost crores of rupees
That white, cocoon-like suit worn by Neil Armstrong as he bobbed up and down on the moon decades ago could prove one of the stiffest challenges for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as it prepares for the human space flight mission.
Continue reading ‘ISRO Faces Major Challenge with Spacesuit Technology’
Paragon has received authorization to begin work on NASAâ€™s Constellation Space Suit System (CSSS). Paragon is beginning this work on the first major space suit redesign in over 40 years as part of a team led by Oceaneering International. Paragon has key responsibilities in the design and manufacture of the suitâ€™s life support and thermal control system. The first suits will support the debut flight of the new Orion spaceship that Paragon is also working on, currently planned to launch in 2015.