Special space suit provides NASA suppliers with important insights

World record in free fall

With the jump from 40,424 meters, which means the transition between stratosphere and space, Alan Eustace set a new world record. Before that, Felix Baumgartner made the previous record jump. Unlike the Austrian, the current free fall through the sound barrier did not have a transport capsule for the ascent, it was more about the capabilities of the space suit used.

Roswell (USA). The preparations and Alan Eustace’s jump from the stratosphere went almost unnoticed by the public. With a successful world record, the American can’t keep himself completely covered, after all, he surpassed the previous top contender Felix Baumgartner by more than two kilometers. Even if the Austrian has to give up his title in terms of fall height, Baumgartner’s fall speed of 1357.6 kilometers per hour remains unmatched with the American’s current jump.
Important test for future NASA space technology

There are almost exactly two years between the two jumps. Three years ago, Alan Eustace, now 57, began joint preparations with space technology supplier Paragon Space Development Corporation. This company is building the technology for NASA’s future Orion space capsules, which are manufactured by the private companies SpaceX and Orbital Sciences-Boing. Paragon supplies, among other things, the life support systems for the capsules as well as for the space suits of the astronauts. For the coming space missions, NASA relies on the financial power of private American corporations, which will then take over the production and maintenance of the new shuttles. Eustace’s employer is the search engine giant Google. He is a senior executive there. Nevertheless, Google deliberately stayed in the background.

With the current jump over New Mexico, the suitability of a new type of space suit was to be tested under extreme conditions. The trained pilot and operator of a small private aircraft was not only dependent on the integrated oxygen supply of the protective suit during free fall.,The ascent was only possible with the protection of this thin artificial outer skin of the suit in a period of about two hours with an ascent of 300 meters in the Minute. Attached to a helium balloon, Alan Eustace rose to 41.42 kilometers. There he stabilized his position, remained in view of the earth and space for half an hour, then he unlatched himself from the balloon.

The pilot remained stable during the free fall period of about five minutes. The special construction of the suit secured the flight through the sound barrier. Unlike Felix Baumgartner in his jump two years ago, the American remained fully conscious throughout. In this respect, too, the data obtained helps in the development of new space suits.

The rest of the parachute flight was also safe. After Alan Eustace, known as an adventurer, had solid ground under his feet again, the record holder was visibly moved by the impressions so close to space. Felix Baumgartner also congratulated fairly from his Facebook page.

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