Monday, January 31, 2011
This is my 2nd Mercury space suit. It was made from a sauna suit which had the same silver shine and texture as the real Mercury space suits. The sauna suit is 100% vinyl which is designed to make you sweat in a work out and traps heat and moisture. I definitely understand how the astronauts felt when they wore these space suits and how they needed to be cooled and filtered their moisture. I have a box that has a air mattress pump inside that pumps fresh air into my suit and cools me off. I don't have a moisture filtration system, but I don't put on the suit often enough to need it. I used peanut butter jars to lock the golves to the suit. I had to grind off some of the screw threads off the lid of the jars so it would only take on half turn to lock the glove on the suit.
In making the helmet, I started with a balloon that was the rough size of my head, then I covered it with strips of card board to make a pattern. I then took it all apart and labeled it. I then traced it onto 1/8in. aluminum and formed it by hand back into the shape of the helmet. There were 17 pieces that make up the helmet, but once welded, it became one piece. The visor is vacuum formed plastic where I heated a sheet of of plastic to a soft saggy state, then I stretched it over a bowling ball.