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Sunday, August 10, 2003

Armadillo Aerospace News: Russian space suit, Small vehicle work, Big vehicle work
chabot imageWe bought a used Russian space suit on Ebay. Our plan has always been to have a pressurized cabin, but an extra layer of safety is probably justified if we can get this working without too much trouble. It has a few holes that will need patching, but most of the material looks in good shape. We will have to fabricate some adapters to go from the Russian fittings to AN fittings, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The big issue is that the gloves are missing, even though the offer explicitly had them. The seller claims they were sent in a separate box, but it has been several additional days, and it hasn’t arrived yet. Hopefully, he just forgot to include them, and they are on the way from Russia now, and we aren’t actually being ripped off…
Related to this, we did some cabin airflow tests on Saturday. In 100+ degree Dallas weather, being inside the cabin even with the hatch open for very long gets uncomfortable pretty quick, which we notice when doing electronics work inside. Now that we have a tank of breathing air and various flow meters, we are able to start testing our plan of using open loop air venting to provide both breathing air and cooling. We ran a hose from the air bottle into the cabin, and closed everything else up. We didn’t actually seal it to the point that it pressurized, but it was reduced to venting the air past a few known places. With 1 CFM of air flowing out the hose at your face, you don’t have any trouble breathing, but the cabin does continue to rise in temperature due to body heat. You could deal with it for an X-Prize flight, but it will probably be better to increase flow until a comfortable steady state is reached. We will probably do some more precise tests with thermometers, timer, circulating fans, and increased flow rates next week. Read More


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