Saturday, November 10, 2012

Soviet Pressure Suits in 1939: Before Kittinger and Baumgartner

"As he was about to touch down, he realized he had only a few seconds' supply of air before suffocating; the suit had indeed proved to be hermetically closed. Steering clear of treetops, Yakov made his landing in the countryside, at the edge of a village. A woman carrying two buckets of water from the well saw what must have been the scariest thing in her life: a man in a bright-red fur suit — the color was to make Yakov easier to spot for the rescue team — with a glass cylinder on his head falling from the sky...Yakov touched down. He rushed to a tree and beat his head against the trunk to crack the helmet loose."

More here on this early jump from what we now call cruising altitude.  In some ways he seemed closer to Newton than NASA.

The suit description makes me think of Max Ernst. As a loyal J.G. Ballard fan that's never difficult for me. Here is 1940's Robing of the Bride (from

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