I'm lucky to have, now, the help of a crew who make the suit tests possible every Sunday at noon. The system has grown to the point where I just cannot do it alone anymore. In the photo, from left, me, Nicholas Walleri (standing), Alexander Knapton (kneeling), Amy (Washoe) Magruder (in the blast suit), and Ben Wilson (who routinely now takes pressure tests in the suit). Less than two months to go, and the time pressure is increasing. With writing projects and the altitude chamber test coming up, my mind is 'maxed out'! We are working on tests that make a laser focus on our basic issues.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I'm thrilled to be building the pressure suits for the Copenhagen Suborbitals project, putting a person into space with a DIY approach, for peaceful and nonprofit purposes; forget satisfying taxpayer and political demands, forget dependence on the military machine -- it's an Orville- and Wilbur- sort of project, though with a budget significant enough to make it reasonable, and a good track record among that group to suggest a good chance of success. In the video above, Kristian von Bengtson reviews new work on the capsule, introducing my pressure suit part of the project around 9:30; also in the video clip is Nicholas Walleri, a valuable part of the team here, now! He's on the checklists and monitors everything as I do a pressurization in the Kazbek seat mockup suitable for simulating the capsule seating position.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Best test for two years! Good suit pressure, standing, breathing gas delivery and dump working -- I was yelling in the suit, jumping for joy! Other photo shows me setting up Ben Wilson, and Ben standing; the new corset on the back is working nicely to keep the torso from ballooning, but even without it the restraint garment is very effective. Next Sunday a test to adjust one final valve, then we are very close to ready for the altitude chamber test, just a couple of alterations, and preparation of the suit for use with 100% oxygen. A thrilling day!
Saturday, June 8, 2013
In the linked file above, the audio from the immersion test in December '12. This audio, from a recorder inside the suit, gives you an idea of what it's like to be inside the suit. Much of the audio is just suiting up; two points are of particular interest: at 52:12 we begin a test that resulted in me getting a breath of water (a little dramatic), we then fixed the problem (a simple oversight on my part that had nothing to do with the suit itself) and tried again; at 1:07:00 we begin the test that took me down and kept me under for 7 minutes, which worked beautifully. I'm working hard a lot in the water, so I'm breathing a lot harder than usual -- but you get the idea. This is a .WMA file that should play on most platforms.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The capsule hatch is 55cm in diameter, so I need to slim everything down significantly. Tonight I grommeted two straps and sewed them as a corset to the back of the suit; this can be adjusted to pull the suit in at the torso. Also added new metal fasteners to the helmet hold-down cables and adjusted placement of the stirrups that fit under the boots to prevent the legs extending with suit pressure.
From Sunday's test; Ben Wilson in the much slimmed-down suit, minus three chest fittings and with the new, slimmer wrist mounts on board. And Ben Robbins filming Ben Wilson in the suit at 2psi; and an overview of several of the seven total people we had on the project on Sunday, when we knocked out one important problem that has persisted for almost a year! Less than 70 days until chamber test!