Collection Item Summary:
On October 24, 2014, Dr. Alan Eustace used a state-of-the-art Pressure Suit Assembly to ascend to the top of the stratosphere beneath a large, helium-filled plastic balloon and sky dive back to Earth. He reached a maximum altitude of 135,889 feet before parachuting back to Earth, breaking the previous world record. He accomplished this mission by using a pressure suit alone for life support and foregoing the weight of a balloon gondola to ascend to the stratosphere.
His spacesuit, made by ILC Dover in Houston, resembles those worn by Apollo astronauts and those performing spacewalks from the International Space Station. The suit includes a Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment, used to keep its wearer safe from extreme temperature differences, radiation, and particles in space. It also includes a liquid temperature-regulating garment to maintain his body temperature. Because this suit was designed to replace a balloon gondola, all sensors, monitors and communications devices had to be mounted on the suit.
This this lower torso assembly attached to the upper posrtion of the suit by means of a steel waist bearing. Because Eustace used his lower body at landing, there are hiking boots mounted at the feet, similar to those that skydivers use. The lower torso assembly completed the sealed environment into which used air and humidity vented during the course of his mission.
The Eustace-Kwan family donated this suit to the museum in 2015.