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 -
Shimuzu Luna Ring Solar Power Project
'This was really free power... Power carried across millions of miles on Addison's tight-beam principle.'- Clifford Simak, 1941.
Robot Kirobo Talks With Astronauts Aboard ISS
Robots now converse in space. With humans.
NASA's LADEE Enters Lunar Orbit
'... dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.' - Hal Clement, 1956.
Nuclear Interceptors Designed For Planetary Protection
See NASA's concept for a nuclear interceptor.
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.
Space Replay - Art Or Rover?
What is Space Replay? That would be telling.
CUPID Intercept Drone Like Niven's Copseye
'Copseyes floated overhead... each a sonic stunner... they were there to enforce the law...'
DIY Taser-Proof Clothing
'His suit-shield sucked in the energy and discharged it...'
Is Privacy Too Expensive?
'It was not a large office, but it was quite spy-proof and quite undetectably so.'
Navy Deploys LaWS First Ship-Borne Laser
When you hear that music, you know you're in for adventure - and predictions of possible technological futures!
Myo Armband Controller Just 149 Bucks
'Actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist...'
Can Gut Bacteria Make You Smarter?
'Vergil had trained the lymphocytes in the past six months to interact as much as possible with each other and with their environment...'
Shimuzu Luna Ring Solar Power Project
'This was really free power... Power carried across millions of miles on Addison's tight-beam principle.'
AllSee Low Power Gesture Recognition
'It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course...'
Must Breaking Up Be Hard To Do?
'Whoever was placed inside the apparatus instantaneously experienced all the charms, lures, wiles, winks and witchery of all the fairer sex in the Universe at once.'
PillCam Colon Now Approved By FDA
'You're going to take a picture of my insides?'
RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'
3D Printing Your Winter Reality
'It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells...'
Roboroach Now Shipping!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'
MeCam Selfie Nano Drone Like Karen Traviss' Bee Cam
'He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'
AeroLife Inhalable Food Powder
'Now shall the brutal murdering of fellow animals and brother vegetables forever stop...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories