Space. The final frontier, well for a chosen few. The space race has recently opened up to private enterprise. Companies like Virgin Galactic are on the cusp of allowing us regular folk to ascend to the stars. The only catch? It’s really, really expensive. Too expensive for your average stargazer. Heck, it’s too expensive for even your moderately wealthy stargazer. Now, this exorbitant pricing should lower a bit once the rich get their fill of making like Captain Kirk and some of the technology becomes inexpensive.
To that end, a DIY Portland-based designer has been busy designing and manufacturing a functional spacesuit on the cheap. Cameron M. Smith took to both eBay and a local hardware store to build this exercise in reduced price awesomeness. The suit starts with a diverâ€™s dry suit, a gauge that measures internal air pressure, and an aquarium pump for circulating cooling fluid. Then he added nylon webbing, wire, and PVC valves. Finally, he found an authentic Soviet fighter helmet from the ’80s. Everything taken together? A bona-fide spacesuit.
This isn’t just for show, either. Mr. Cameron is planning to take to the skies to test it out. He plans to get a balloon pilotâ€™s license and take off into the lower stratosphere in a nylon craft of his own making. He’ll go 50,000 feet, to be exact. This may not actually be outer space, but as a proof of concept it will do just fine. Check a video that follows the design of the suit below. Also, as always, we’ll let you know more as this develops.