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Project PoSSUM: Bioastronautics Human Factors Research, 2016

Integrated Spaceflight Services in cooperation with Final Frontier Designs for TEDxMelbourne, Boulder CO, 30 Jul 2016.

Test Flight: FFD IVA Spacesuit - Performance

Sarah Jane Pell, Jason Reimuller, Parker Rice

Dr. Sarah Jane Pell is an Australian artist and explorer and also a graduate of PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 1601. She is the first to test the functionality of the Final Frontier IVA spacesuit in a Mooney M20K research aircraft, an analog operational environment to a spacecraft. Dr. Jason Reimuller, a scientist who is principal investigator at PoSSUM, a Bolder-based outfit involved in suborbital scientific exploration of the upper mesosphere, supervised a test of a spacesuit designed for use in a research aircraft at the Boulder Municipal Airport. PoSSUM’s Mooney M20K aircraft is used here to demonstrate flight procedures using a suited pilot in support of Final Frontier Design (FFD) Bioastronautics research. Dr. Pell reports live: with custom audio integration into the advanced life support system and multiple cameras in and on the vehicle to deliver to TEDxMelbourne 2016. The challenges of field research communication, live performance and authentic interactions with an audience during technical operations is precursor research in Performing Astronautics.

Bioastronautics: BioHuman Factors Research

Bioastronautics is the study associated with the support of life in space, including the design of payloads, space habitats, and life support systems. Project PoSSUM works with Final Frontier Design to test and evaluate commercial spacesuits and their operability within analog environments. Project PoSSUM conducts citizen-science bioastronautics research including evaluations of Final Frontier Design spacesuits and associated technologies developed within the program. Project PoSSUM members work exclusively with Integrated Spaceflight Services to evaluate Final Frontier IVA Spacesuits through a multi-year research and evaluation program to evaluate spacesuit functionality, operational envelope, prototype suit/seat interface, seat ingress and egress operations, interface with biometric monitoring and communications systems, and CO2 washout tests. See: https://projectpossum.org/research/bioastronautics/

Project PoSSUM and Final Frontier Designs

This was Project PoSSUM's first in-flight evaluation of the Final Frontier Design (FFD) 3G IVA spacesuit in the cockpit environment on July 30, 2016. The test was conducted in a Mooney M20K aircraft, flown from Boulder Municipal Airport, and assessed the operational envelope and the ability of one wearing the suit to make fine controls of the aircraft. During the flight, Dr. Sarah Jane Pell evaluated the spacesuit while she performed a variety of in-flight maneuvers, including standard-rate turns and climbs, engine power adjustments, and landing gear and flap extension and retraction. The Mooney aircraft was chosen because the cockpit has a volume and an operational envelope typical of existing spacecraft. Further, the aircraft’s controls require significant dexterity to operate. See: http://projectpossum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Project-PoSSUM-News_Winter-2017.pdf

TEDxMelbourne 2016: Adventurous Minds

Pell, while in flight, gave a TEDx talk, recorded for broadcast at the event in Melbourne Australia 3 days later. Also part of the test crew that morning was Parker Rice, of Boulder, co-founder of the CinemaRaven advanced video production company, and a sponsor of Project PoSSUM. He has assisted in designing suborbital payloads and data imaging collection. “I double as a spacesuit technician for the company that they work with, Final Frontier Design,” Rice said. “I was there monitoring the spacesuit, as well as doing some imaging capture for the flight.” He was simultaneously making sure Pell was getting adequate airflow, and ensuring that she was able to deliver her TEDx talk, he explained. Pell’s talk was recorded with three different cameras. “The only struggles we really had was the TED talk,” Rice said, “It was 30 hours for her to fly here, and then she had to fly back two days later. We had to deliver the footage to Australia, and the only struggles we had, was in doing that. If sending files was the hardest part, then that’s a total success, to me.” - See Boulder Daily Camera


Thanks to Jon Yeo, Mages Ruiz Diaz (TEDxMelbourne), Jason Reimuller, Chris Lundeen, Jorge Latre (Project PoSSUM), Nikolay Moiseev, Ted Southern (Final Frontier Design), Van Wampler, Parker Rice (Cinema Raven).

For more photos and a video, go to www.dailycamera.com. Cliff Grassmick Staff Photographer July 30, 2016


"Pumpkin" Intra-Vehicular Activity Spacesuit

Final Frontier Design Patch
Final Frontier Design Mission Patch

Bioastronautics Pell in Final Frontier Design IVA Suit

Final Frontier Design
Intra-vehicular Activity (IVA) Spacesuit Operation

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Moonie 500 Advanced Spaceflight Services

Integrated Spaceflight Services
OPS 103: Flight Test Engineering - Performance

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Pell TEDxMelbourne 2016

TEDxMelbourne 2016
Adventurous Minds - Surprise Speaker

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Press Coverage

Sarah Jane Pell - Huffington Post 2 Aug 2016

Huffington Post 2 Aug, 2016
TEDxMelbourne's surprise speaker is literally out of this world

Sarah Jane Pell - Boulder Daily Camera 12 Aug, 2016

Boulder Daily Camera 12 Aug, 2016
Boulder’s PoSSUM at forefront of exploring Earth’s upper atmosphere

Cover The Project PoSSUM News, Winter 2017

The Project PoSSUM News, Winter 2017
PoSSUM Team Tests Functional Control of Aircraft wearing Spacesuits