Project PoSSUM Members to Continue Zero-G Testing of Final Frontier Spacesuits
PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates to evaluate prototype spacesuit technologies through a series of three zero-G flights in July 2016
By: Project PoSSUM
The first phase of tests evaluated the test subject's range of motion tests, fine motor skills tests, seat egress and ingress tests, and assisted seat ingress tests through a series of four flights. The second phase of testing will evaluate a prototype seat, the suit/seat interface, and the operational envelope through a series of three flights. These tests will also mature an in-flight suit pressurization system and a biometric monitoring system.
"This second phase of testing will serve as a dry-run for a NASA-selected flight opportunity in which the suits will be evaluated fully pressurized,"
Last January, the FFD proposal "Testing of a Novel IVA Space Suit" was selected by NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, and FFD's flight operations partner ISS is arranging the flights on a Falcon 20 research aircraft specially modified for microgravity operations. 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.
"The purpose of these tests is to increase our technology readiness level (TRL) through human testing in a high fidelity, relevant environment. The results will be used to validate pressurized suit performance under live, unpredictable conditions and further our milestone goal of obtaining flight safety approval from the FAA," says Ted Southern, President of FFD.
PoSSUM, an acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and education organization that conducts upper-atmospheric and space technology research and communicates the science through various educational outreach programs. The next PoSSUM citizen-science programs will be held at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. from April 8-13, 2016. Interested individuals may apply to the 'PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program' or the 'PoSSUM Spacesuit Evaluation Program' through PoSSUM's webpage: projectpossum.org. A video of the program is shown on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/
Dr. Jason Reimuller, Executive Director
Dr. Dave Fritts, Chief Scientist