StratEx Pressure Suit Assembly Design and Performance
Lee, G. Ryan
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In October of 2014 Dr. Alan Eustace used a state-of-the-art Pressure Suit Assembly to ascend to the top of the stratosphere beneath a large plastic balloon and sky dive back to Earth. The Pressure Suit Assembly (PSA) was a key part of the overall StratEx flight system housing the pilot, providing life support and supplying a parachute recovery system. The PSA consists of three major subassemblies: the pressure suit, the Equipment Module (EM) and the parachute pack. The PSA not only provided a safe environment for the pilot during the mission, but also housed avionics and communications equipment. This paper will cover the components of the Pressure Suit Assembly with a focus on the major components and architecture of the life support system and the overall structure of the system which ultimately came to be viewed as a mini spacecraft carrying a one-man crew, fully exposed, to a part of our atmosphere completely unexplored for any substantial period of time prior to these flights.