FINAL TEST DAY
Today was the final day for the testing of our experimental space suit, it was an amazing day where we were able to accomplish most of the desired objectives. Also, since it was public day many people came to see the tests.
The director of the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium Dr. Shan de Silva, and Suezette Rene Bieri, assistant director came to see the final tests, as well as some other colleagues from the NDSGC and participating colleges and universities.
It was a big event, and this time the weather cooperated very well for the public with a beautifully sunny day, but not that well for our test subject, who had to endure a warm space suit during most of the test.
The suit, designed for colder climate, and without a proper life support system was too warm after the first half hour under the sun. However, Fabio took it as always, with a smile and endured it stoically.
Today, Fabio did some of the tests he performed past days, plus some new, as driving a small radio-controlled car, and a very important one, driving an all terrain vehicle all by himself, which he did perfectly and will full control of the vehicle.
Since he was using a umbilical cable it was difficult for us to keep him under control, and give him the proper length of cable to keep feeding the space suit, but finally with the help of Mark and Jennie we were able to complete the task.
After the test many press interviews followed, as well as questions from the public who came to see the tests.
In the afternoon and after public and press left the site Dr. Corinne Krauss and her students from Dickinson State University prepared the final test for the suit.
The faculty and students designed a dust chamber where the suit (unmanned, this time) was going to be “bombarded” with dust in several sizes and compositions.
They did a great job, and the suit took it pretty well (see pictures).
They are going to study the results of this test and we will continue working with them since dust containment is one of the most difficult problems for planetary space suits.
It has been such an amazing week. Everybody involved worked so hard and did everything so well that I am in debt will all of them.
Thanks to all the E-mails received. I am really sorry I had no time to answer each one personally, but I will do as soon as I return to my office in a couple of days.
Pablo de Leon.