Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sokol / Smith Suit Comparison

On the left, my suit at 2psi, in the Kazbek / Soyuz capsule position; on the right, a Sokol suit. The differences are easy to fix; knee restraints to bring the knees together, modifications to the arms of my suit to bring the elbows in, and a better helmet hold-down cable setup on my helmet to prevent the dreaded 'helmet rise' problem. I think I can have all of these done by the weekend for another test. After that, which will give good data for Copenhagen Suborbitals, I'll be back on to my breathing gas regulator testing and configuration, and coverall modifications.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Kazbek Seat Test!

Thanks to help from Nicholas Walleri, a very interesting test yesterday. The suit held pressure at 2psi, rock-steady. Video and report to come.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Kazbek Seat Test Today!

Testing the suit as it works with the Copenhagen Suborbitals (CS) capsule today; this is the Kazbek Seating Position of the highly reliable Soyuz vehicle; its seat is the main influence on the CS capsule design. The test will put me in the suit, in the seat, pressurize, and get measurements. It's going to be very interesting and will reveal, I'm sure, a laundry list of things I'll need to do to build the CS pilot's pressure suit. if there's time we will also do a test of the new breathing gas delivery regulator. Plenty to do!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guest Blog at Copenhagen Suborbitals' Rocket Shop

My first guest blog at Copenhagen Suborbitals' Rocket Shop blog on WIRED online. This covers how I came to be building a pressure suit for my own flights as well as being brought on board Copenhagen Suborbitals, a thrilling development! Next blog there will cover my research and building processes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Partnership With Copenhagen Suborbitals!

I am thrilled to announce that I have entered a partnership with Copenhagen Suborbitals, a private space flight group. I will be building a pressure suit for their astronaut; we start this summer, when I'll travel to Denmark to demonstrate my prototype and test it in an altitude chamber, take measurements of their pilots, and return home to begin fabrication. Their suit will be different from mine, which I will continue to build for my stratosphere expedition.

For the moment, lots to do, but a little time for celebration; I am part of a space program, at long, long last, after a quest that has cost me a lot in every way.

Above, Kristian von Bengston and his prototype capsule, recent photos of the build and a recent diagram, from my sketchbook, for the pressure suit manual. A good synopsis of the CS project can be found here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Calm Face

'Just' a beautifully calm face in this blog-post...I wonder who she was? This particular Norwegian folk music (though it's much later than the image) seems to go well with that depiction.

First go of fitting the coverall to the pressure suit. The black rings are reinforcements for through-fittings (e.g. gas in, gas out, electrics in / out, etc.). I'm calling the color 'Gagarin Orange' :) A lot of sewing in my immediate future :p

Monday, February 11, 2013

Updated Student Resource

Updated some items on this student handout, which introduces my palaeoanthropology students to the wide variety of fossil, genetic and archaeological evidence relating to hominin evolution.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Revised Checklists

Clear, accurate checklists ensure aviation safety thousands of times every day, across the globe. Yesterday I rewrote all of mine, including some specific to an upcoming test, to reflect the recent rebuilding of the gas and electric systems.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Engineer's Review

...and the second wave of engineers to review the system say unanimously, 'this isn't crazy.' Hot dog! Also got an ascent rate formula confirmed RE my math...which was correct! Suit pressurized to 3.5psi (lower photo), which will keep me alive to 50k feet, and held that pressure properly. Today a good, short checklist test with Nicholas Walleri on the radio.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Balloon Hardware - Software Integration

Some comments on integration and research ( direct link ). Next video will explain the workings of the flight simulator software.