Thursday, August 30, 2012

A DIY Space Suit?!

Here is Cameron M. Smith. Cameron wanted to fly for the Airforce, but had bad eyesight. Cameron sat his sights on the edge of space, but like the rest of the 99%ers, he could not afford the astronomical price tag. What is an inner child to do? You build your own space suit. Instead of a rocket you build a big balloon to take you to the edge of space!

Now at 50,000 feet there is very little air. Exposure here is deadly, so if you build a space-suit, it can not be some silver jumpsuit with a play helmet, but something that will keep you alive in an extremely dangerous environment.

But even so, Cameron's parts list sound a bit Rube Goldbergish. a diver’s dry suit, an aquarium pump, nylon straps, wire, PVC fittings and valves topped off by a 1980s-era soviet fighter helmet.

Cameron says that this suit is a "proof of concept" which he will test in a hypobaric chamber.

According to the Wired article:
  • if all goes well it will be rebuilt with sturdier elements.
Then the next challenge is building the balloon that will take him there.

There is more, click the article title for the complete Wired article


kallamis said...

Cool. Gotta love the backyard science wizardy. I'm still hoping we eventually complete a suit that isn't so bulky, but for a backyard engineer, go for it brother. I would if I could afford it.

Beam Me Up said...

I am thinking that this may be his general direction after P.O.C. Maybe not, it really doesn't matter, that he is doing it at all is amazing.

As to lighter suits, as I recall there were several companies working in just this direction. This is the article that I put together back in 2008 ( that showed that nasa was working in just such a direction and had awarded Oceaneering International Inc. of Houston with a contract. I have seen even more svelte construction since then, but mainly they are working away from the over inflated balloon and towards something that allows easier movement.