Integrated Spaceflight Services Completes First Zero G Test of a Commercial Spacesuit

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Integrated Spaceflight Services has completed the first zero g evaluation of a commercial spacesuit. The 3G IVA spacesuit, manufactured by Final Frontier Design, was tested through four zero g flights on a Falcon 20 research aircraft with a team of 14 citizen-scientist astronaut candidates trained through Project PoSSUM.

Integrated Spaceflight Services LLC (‘ISS’) of Boulder, Colo. announced today that it has completed the first zero g evaluation of a commercial spacesuit. The 3G IVA spacesuit, manufactured by Final Frontier Design (‘FFD’) of Brooklyn, N.Y., was tested through four zero g flights on a specially-modified Falcon 20 research aircraft..

ISS offers reduced gravity services to the research and education community and coordinates zero g testing, high-G testing, egress and operability testing, mission simulation, and human factors testing of FFD’s spacesuits through its upper-atmospheric research and education program, Project PoSSUM.

“This was the first step in an extensive test plan that will evaluate the FFD IVA spacesuit in conditions that best approximate the environments in which they were designed to operate.” said Dr. Jason Reimuller, President of ISS, “This was a complicated test protocol; we want to make sure that our methodology is well established before we advance to other tests.”

According to ISS, the Falcon 20 aircraft was chosen for its exceptional quality of zero g that best approximates the orbital environment, as well as a cabin interior that best replicates several space vehicles being produced. On each of the four flights, a series of parabolic maneuvers were conducted in which the test subjects would perform range of motion tests, fine motor skills tests, seat egress and ingress tests, and assisted seat ingress tests. On-board suit pressurization and monitoring systems were also evaluated in flight.

The 14 participating Project PoSSUM graduates had all been previously trained in spacesuit and microgravity operations and rehearsed in teams of five prior to flight. Spacesuit test subjects included Dr. Shawna Pandya of Edmonton, Alta; Callum Wallach of Auckland, New Zealand, Gavin James of Daytona Beach, Fla., Deniz Burnham of Fairfield, Calif.; Dr. Ross Lockwood of Edmonton, Alta., Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj of Boulder, Colo.; Michael Mastin of Ketchikan, Alaska; and Jim Kuhl of Syracuse, N.Y. The tests were directed by Kari Love of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Dr. Jason Reimuller of Boulder, Colo.

"FFD is consistently impressed by the credentials and commitment of Project PoSSUM graduates. Data collected on suit performance helps build our case on the road to human rating and spaceflight." said Kari Love, co-owner of FFD.

The next stage of spacesuit evaluations is planned for April 19-22, 2016. Interested persons should contact Project PoSSUM at http://www.projectpossum.org.

About Integrated Spaceflight Services: Founded in 2010 and based in Boulder, Colo., Integrated Spaceflight Services (‘ISS’) performs payload qualification, test, and integration services for research and education payloads on-board microgravity aircraft, balloons, and suborbital spacecraft. ISS also offers immersive, hands-on space education services. For more information, visit http://www.integratedspaceflight.com.

About Final Frontier Design: Founded in 2010, and based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City, Final Frontier Design (‘FFD’) has developed a next generation IVA space suit for the commercial space market. FFD recently was awarded a Space Act Agreement with NASA to proceed through Critical Design Review of their suit for orbital space flight. For more information, visit http://www.finalfrontierdesign.com.

About Project PoSSUM: Project PoSSUM is a 501(c)(3) research and education program that uses commercial space vehicles to study the upper atmosphere. PoSSUM also engages the public directly through its scientist-astronaut programs, administered in partnership with the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. to communicate the critical role our upper-atmosphere plays in the understanding of our global climate. For more information, visit http://www.projectpossum.org.

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Jason Reimuller

Pete Freeland
@PoSSUMAstronaut
since: 05/2013
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