Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Measurement of Mr. X

I never gave my Iceland or Alaska sleds a name -- I didn't feel I needed to, because I'd known them so intimately, right down to every millimeter and every bolt -- and in the same way I haven't named the pressure suit. But the other day I took the suit, which is now holding a life-sustaining 3+PSI steadily for hours at a time (yes! I solved the neck interface issue with diligence and attention to detail!) to the Portland Garment Factory, a business co-owned by one of my former anthropology students, Britt Howard. At the PGF, Britt and one of her employees, David Rafn, asked if the suit had a name; 'Mr. X' I now call the suit, which is still a bit strange as it will eventually be a protective barrier for me, just as protective as one's own organic skin...
In the photos, Britt and David are introduced to the suit as they consider its properties, and options for building its 'Pressure Restraint Garment', which will fit over the suit you see here; the 'PRG' will hold the pressure required for survival at 50k feet altitude.

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