Saturday, August 23, 2014

17,000 Feet at 45 Knots

Video frames from the test flight in a Bell 206, jut over 17,000 feet and only 45 knots forward air speed!

Monday down to LA for work in the private space industry, consulting in a space suit development lab. Progress here on the next generation suit is good, but will take a back seat for a week or so.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pacific Spaceflight 2014-2015 Project Summary

Project summary for Pacific Spaceflight. Direct link to the document is here.

This morning I had a fun discussion with Dr. Walter De Brouwer, at NASA-AMES, who recently invited me to talk at TedX Brussels this year (01 December). We shaped up concepts for my talk on 'The Map and the Territory: Concept and Reality in Human Space Settlement'. This will be an integration of my three levels of participation in the project of human space settlement. reflected in the document above. Level 1 = actual development of new technologies to reduce the cost of space access (the pressure suit project), Level 2, = development of technologies for Mars exploration and settlement and Level 3 = conceptual work and research (some begun here) regarding long-distance human futures in space.

Following the talk in Brussels I will talk (on 03 December) on the same subjects at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Wateroo, Canada;

'Perimeter Institute is a leading centre for scientific research, training and educational outreach in foundational theoretical physics. Founded in 1999 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, [our] mission is to advance our understanding of the universe at the most fundamental level, stimulating the breakthroughs that could transform our future. Perimeter also trains the next generation of physicists through innovative programs, and shares the excitement and wonder of science with students, teachers and the general public.

Plenty to prepare!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My NASA Talk Online

Last month I did a presentation for many NASA managers at the NASA / U-Texas/Austin Future-in-Space Working Group teleconference. The talk is on the biological and cultural dimensions of human space settlement, based on many recent writings, including 'Emigrating Beyond Earth: Human Adaptation and Space Colonization', coauthored with Dr. Evan Davies.

The audio and the powerpoint are now available at the link below.

It was really wild to hear everyone on the line chime in before the talk, "___ NASA Marshall", "___ NASA Houston", "______ NASA Ames", "____ NASA Canaveral", "_____ JPL" etc. About 20 NASA and another 20 of various other affiliations. Thrilled and honored to be included in such talks as ""The Z Suits: NASA's Next Generation Space Suits for Exploration" -- Phil Spampinato , ILC Dover, "Copernicus Trajectory Design and Optimization System" -- Jerry Condon , NASA Johnson and "Artificial Gravity, the ISS, and a Solution to Long-Duration Space Flight" -- Laurence Young , MIT . Good to represent Portland State as well!

If you're interested (I'm second down from the top):

Saturday, August 9, 2014

17,000 Foot Test Flight Audio Log Transcription

The test flight to 17,000 feet went flawlessly. The pressure suit (a) held pressure, (b) delivered breathing gas, (c) exhausted my exhaled carbon dioxide, (d) regulated my temperature with coolant flow, and (e) allowed enough mobility with the new convolute elbows that I could do the work I needed to do. Last year this time we were in an altitude chamber in Copenhagen, at a simulated altitude of 13,000 feet, where the function of the pressure suit gave my body a perceived altitude of only 8,500 feet. This time, we were at a real altitude of 17,000 feet, where the function of the pressure suit gave my body a perceived altitude of only 11,200 feet. All of this was a result of great work by the Pacific Spaceflight team in building the various systems, developing good procedures and checklists, and multiple test flight simulations that further refined our procedures. Could not have gone better! A transcript of the test flight, with some of my comments and reports, is shown in the two figures above.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Wrapped up video shoot week with a clight to 17,000 feet in the AM and a 30-minute session underwater (no pictures of that, yet). An intense and invigorating week, the Pacific Spaceflight crew worked well and solved many problems on-the-fly. The flight test was the smoothest of all, with best function of all systems! Tomorrow I sleep in.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Big day today, interesting plans! We'll run late, though, and I won't be able to post until tomorrow (Sunday).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Shoot Week Day 5

Busy day of preparations for tomorrow, here another photo in the cold chamber, by W. Magruder!

Shoot Week Day 4

Burrragh! Ten minutes in the cold chamber in the first test killed our circulation system, froze it dead in -20F leaving me familiarly chilled to the core and numb at the extremities! As expected, but faster than expected. Thawed out after another 20 min in the chamber (electrics did well), went back in for another 30 min and significantly improved the heating fluid, keeping me gloriously warm in the suit. Learned a lot and once again great work by the Pacific Spaceflight crew and the great and large documentary film crew. Tomorrow a little rest, then off to another location! Photos by Washoe Magruder.