Space Diving By Orbital Outfitters (And 'Doc' Smith)
The Space diving suit from Orbital Outfitters is both an extreme sporting device and an emergency backup for returning from space.
(Space Diver [PopSci])
One of the developers of the suit, Jonathan Clark, is a former NASA flight surgeon with a somber reason for working on the suit. His wife, astronaut Laurel Clark, was killed in when the space shuttle Columbia burned up in reentry.
Clark and his partner Rick Tumlinson, who founded the Space Frontier Foundation, hope to demonstrate a 120,000 foot jump by 2009 (the current record for a skydive is 102,800 - set in 1960. The first space dive, from a height of sixty miles, would be attempted two years later.
(USAF Captain Joseph Kittinger, Jr. jumps from balloon gondola)
And who was the first to think of the idea of space diving from near-orbital altitudes? Probably E.E. 'Doc' Smith, in his classic 1934 novel Triplanetary:
Back toward the trailing edges then, to a small escape-hatch beside which was fastened a dull black ball... He gasped as the air rushed out into near-vacuum... He rolled the ball out onto the hatch, where he opened it: two hinged hemispheres, each heavily padded with molded composition resembling sponge rubber...
...He curled up into one half of the ball; the other half closed over him and locked. The hatch opened. Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..
And as the ball bulleted downward on a screaming slant, it shrank!
(Read more about ablative heat reentry shield
Read more about space diving.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/25/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
Asteroids Threaten Earth? New Study Details Laser Ablation Method
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...' - Gene Roddenberry, 1968.
Martian Concrete, Rich In Sulphur, Made After Arrival
'We have been mining steadily, and making some photocells...' - John W. Campbell, 1951.
NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission
'[Asteroid] Eighty-eight received a series of gentle pats, always on the side headed along her course...' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
Space Synthetic Biology Grand Challenges
'What better purifying machine is there than a plot of grass?' - George O. Smith,
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Denisovans, Neandertals... And Us?
'But in far realms, among strange hominids, you couldn't shun each other, either.'
Patented! Google's Autonomous Delivery Trucks
I hope Google's trucks can find my house!
3 Parent Embryos Approved By Bioethicists
' A tkan merely courts a mlenb and is attracted to a good guur...'
DIY Armed UAV (Toy)
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'
Tired Of Speeders On Your Block? DIY Speed Tracker!
'There is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that allowed in the section in which it happens to be...'
Centriphone Whirling Selfie Camera
''Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me,' he told it...'
Eagles Vs. Drones
'Moon bird's view was... partly blocked by the pyramid, so that he did not see the bird-things dark against the brilliant sky...'
SCiO Scanner Wants You To Be Spock
Almost as easy as a tricorder?
Self-Adapting Composite Heals Itself
'...Could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.'
Rigid Clothing, Or Wearable Furniture?
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'
Swarming Intelligent Aquatic Surface Robots Ahoy!
'A remote-controlled emulsion, as it were, with uniform center...'
SuitX Cheap Medical Exoskeleton
'... standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'
Harvesting Energy From Internal Resonance
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'
Sticker Harvests Energy From Your Skin
Another way to harvest power from the body.
Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
Myo-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
'Sensitive actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories