Category Archives: Living in Space

Copenhagen Suborbitals: Spacesuit testing in high altitude chamber

Copenhagen Suborbitals posts this video about testing a prototype space suit in a pressure chamber:

High altitude chamber test of the Copenhagen Suborbitals / Project Alpha DIY space suit at the main hospital of Copenhagen, Denmark. The test was performed to validate the stability of internal suit pressure and working life support systems in a stressful environment.

Luca Parmitano tells of the EVA in which his helmet filled with water

Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano gives a dramatic recounting of the nearly disastrous space suit water leak he experienced during his spacewalk on July 16th outside the International Space Station: EVA 23: exploring the frontier – Luca Parmitano

As I move back along my route towards the airlock, I become more and more certain that the water is increasing. I feel it covering the sponge on my earphones and I wonder whether I’ll lose audio contact. The water has also almost completely covered the front of my visor, sticking to it and obscuring my vision. I realise that to get over one of the antennae on my route I will have to move my body into a vertical position, also in order for my safety cable to rewind normally. At that moment, as I turn ‘upside-down’, two things happen: the Sun sets, and my ability to see – already compromised by the water – completely vanishes, making my eyes useless; but worse than that, the water covers my nose – a really awful sensation that I make worse by my vain attempts to move the water by shaking my head.


Last I heard, the leak problem has not been fully explained, though it is believe the water came from the coolant system. The suit will be brought back to earth by a Dragon capsule after SpaceX makes there next cargo delivery to the ISS, currently scheduled for next January.

Copenhagen Suborbitals: Video on “How to don a DIY Spacesuit”

Copenhagen Suborbitals posts this video about the recent space suit work:

This video presents an in-depth and detailed process of donning and operating a DIY suit — almost uncut.

Observe the very first try of donning the Copenhagen Suborbitals DIY spacesuit invented by Cameron Smith. The suit was brought to Copenhagen Aug 2013 by Cameron Smith and John Haslett for demonstration and further on-site seat and capsule interior design development.

This version of the suit is a proof of concept and a next generation suit will be created when John and Cameron returns to the US.

Update: Here is a related post with lots of pictures of the CS guys putting on and wearing Smith’s suit: Donning the DIY Suit – Space Suit Session Day 03 – Wired Science

Update 2: A video update on the space suit testing:

Winner of 2013 Sacknoff Prize for Space History announced

Here’s an announcement from the  journal Quest: The History of Spaceflight:

“Rethinking the Overview Effect” named winner
of 2013 Sacknoff Prize for Space History

Jordan Bimm earns cash prize, trophy, and publication in Quest.

“Rethinking the Overview Effect,” has earned York University (Toronto Canada) graduate student, Jordan Bimm, the 2013 Sacknoff Prize for Space History.

Established in 2011, the annual prize is designed to encourage students to perform original research and submit papers with history of spaceflight themes.  The winner receives a $300 cash prize, a trophy, publication in the peer-reviewed journal, “Quest: The History of Spaceflight,” and an invitation to present at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology.

Over the years, the Prize has seen entries from students at universities throughout the world with papers covering a wide range of topics — from early animal research to the Korean space program; from women engineers at NASA Marshall in the 1960s to the public diplomacy behind the astronaut world tours; from a history of space debris to NASA’s Space Flight Participant program.

The winning paper from Mr. Bimm, a third year PhD student in Science and Technology Studies, focuses on how historical perspectives can offer insights into why we think what we think about  space and how this matters.  His paper, takes a look at the 1987 book, The Overview Effect by American author Frank White who coined the term to describe a collection of positive mental experiences reported by astronauts and cosmonauts returning from outerspace. The idea that viewing the Earth from space fundamentally changes people “for the better” has resonated with a number of important groups, including space psychologists, space industry advocates, politicians, members of environmental and peace movements, and most recently, members of the public with an interest in space. However, looking at the historical data, Mr. Bimm’s research suggests the overview effect is only one possibility among many for the human experience of viewing the earth from outerspace,

The jury was coordinated by Dr. David Christopher Arnold, the publisher of Quest, and consists of members of the Society for the History of Technology—Albatross Committee (aerospace).

More information about the Prize and the journal can be found at:

Contact:Scott Sacknoff

The Sacknoff Prize for Space History