Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stellar Evening

No pun intended; it was just a great evening, meeting with space suit engineer Dr. Dava Newman, some of her graduate students from MIT, and a number of NASA engineers. Having them examine the suit--my biological barrier, my life-sustaining pressure and temperature 'second skin'--was a real treat. They didn't think it was crazy or foolish, and that's a nice change from how people often react (which is why I don't like to talk about the project too much).

Now, back to work; a good bit more seaming to do, some zipper work, and one or two final hardware components to find, and I will be very close to test-ready. Some tests will be run in a pressure chamber, to ensure the suit is functioning, at least one will be me bailing out of an airplane in the suit to simulate an emergency parachute decent from the balloon, and at least one will be me flying a normal hot air balloon while in the suit. That means getting a hot air balloon flying license, which I'll tackle in 2012! In the photo, Prof. Dava Newman is on the far left. In addition to being a founding member of the International Space University (currently in Strasbourg, France) and the designer of a revolutionary new kind of pressure garment, she has circumnavigated the globe by sailboat...and is very generous with her time. Her graduate students are very fortunate!

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