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 is a satellite GPS messenger that Eustace wore for his flight. He parachuted through several GPS blackout zones during his mission, so the signaling device could not be used to map his flight. The signaling device was used in the case of an emergency, if he had landed off course. As was true with many of the pieces of signaling and safety equipment that Eustace used for his mission, this was off-the-shelf equipment that anyone could purchase.
The Eustace-Kwan family donated this suit to the museum in 2015.