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 | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...' - Nat Schachner, 1941.

The 'Marching Mountains' Of Pluto
Calling Captain Future! Your time has come.

3D Printed Pluto And Charon, For Imperial Collectors
'It was the kind of globe made for wealthy collectors or planetary governors of the Empire.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

A Solar System Swept Clean - For A Dyson Swarm
'They cleaned it out...' - Larry Niven, 1970



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.






Current News

ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."

Tesla Suit Gives Haptic Hugs
'Then a pressure on the lips...'

Surgically Implantable Artificial Kidney Starts Testing
'George Walt... proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...'

Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...'

Microsoft's Surface Book Is Part Clipboard
'Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications...'

Police Use Predictive Maps ala 'Minority Report' Routinely
'...the data-receptors, and the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Tesla Autopilot Road Trip 2995 Miles, 57 Hours
'The beautiful old car cruised ... under the guidance of its automatic controls...'

The 'Marching Mountains' Of Pluto
Calling Captain Future!

Graphene Thermopile May Grant Predator Heat Vision To Humans
'What the hell are you?'

BitDrones Flying Microbots Model Programmable Matter
'... as though a child should build from nursery blocks a fantastic shape which abruptly is filled with throbbing life.'

Starship Turbolift Elevators Coming From ThyssenKrupp AG
Your sideways elevator is getting closer to your floor.

LineFORM MIT's Shape-Changing Interface
'For an interval, the device struggled with itself...'

LM3D Swim First 3D-Printed Production Car
'Almost as good as the original it was printed fromů'

Protopiper Lets You Sketch Full-Size Objects In Real Space
'Plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens...'

AI Trainers: Assisting Artificial Intelligences
'[Ava] wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.