28 Oct Project PoSSUM Members complete first microgravity evaluation of a commercial spacesuit
Project POSSUM recently completed the first microgravity evaluation of a commercial spacesuit. The 3G IVA spacesuit, manufactured by Final Frontier Designs of Brooklyn, NY, was tested through a series of four microgravity flights on a Falcon 20 research aircraft specially modified for microgravity operations. 16 Project PoSSUM members participated as test participants in a series of four flights provided by Integrated Spaceflight Services of Boulder, Colo.
The Falcon 20 aircraft was chosen for its exceptional quality of microgravity that best approximates the space 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. Onboard suit pressurization and monitoring systems were also evaluated in flight.
The 16 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, Alberta; Callum Wallach of Auckland, New Zealand; Gavin James of Daytona Beach, FL.; Deniz Burnham of Fairfield, Calif.; Dr. Ross Lockwood of Edmonton, Alberta; Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj of Boulder, Colo.; Michael Mastin of Ketchikan, AK.; and Jim Kuhl of Syracuse, NY., The tests were directed by Kari Love of Brooklyn, NY. and Dr. Jason Reimuller of Boulder, Colo.
The next stage of spacesuit evaluations is planned for April 19-22, 2016.