Sunday, May 1, 2011

Very Close to a Solution

After coming very close to 3psi yesterday, I discovered the final pinhole leak. It was exactly where I thought it would be, at a point where carelessness on my part--brought on by my impatience to get the system up to pressure--allowed a part of the suit-helmet mount interface bladder to chafe against a metal element. So, I completely disassembled the helmet mount system and am very confident that with one, last component, costing no more than $10.00, I can bring the suit up to the appropriate pressure. I spent a few more hours making the permanent installation of the oral-nasal mask, happy to know that all of the through-holes on the suit are airtight and that I am very close to a solution.

In the pictures above, I'm working on the neck interface issue (top), adjusting the oral-nasal mask interface while wearing the suit (next image down) and, in the final three images, working out a system for putting the suit on, and taking it off by myself.

As always, finding a problem in the suit, and disassembling the problem component, is the best way to learn. I'm pretty confident that next weekend I will have the system right up to, and holding, the appropriate pressure to survive at my target altitude of 50.000 feet.

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