Suit worn in 24-mile jump made in Worcester
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- It took a lot of nerve for Felix Baumgartner to make a jump from 128,000 feet. His life depended on the suit that he wore, which was made in Worcester, Mass.
“If the suit were to have any problems it would have been fatal,” said Shane Jacobs, who helped design the spacesuit.
The suit shielded Felix as he became a human rocket.
“A large team of engineers, pattern designers, helmet technicians, that all helped to design, and build, and fabricate the suit right here in Worcester, Mass.,” said Jacobs.
The suit was made at the David Clark Company, which has a long association with the Air Force and NASA. Fifty people worked four years on the design, including Jacobs.
“It weighed 30 pounds,” said Jacobs.
The suit had to protect against conditions deadly to the human body, including extreme temperatures.
“He was above 99 percent of the atmosphere. If he were exposed to that his fluids would boil,” said Jacobs.
A special netting under a thermal protective layer kept shape while allowing flexibility.
“Completely air tight bubble around Felix, but it allows water vapor to transmit through,” Jacobs.
Many things about the suit are top secret -- materials that don’t even have names -- and the company will not disclose the cost, only that Red Bull picked up the tab.
An incredible achievement involving one man’s nerve and technology created in Massachusetts.