Nicholas de Monchaux Quoted in Quartz

29 Aug, 2017

Nicholas de Monchaux Quoted in Quartz

BCNM Director Nicholas de Monchaux was quoted in "Elon Musk is teasing space travel fanatics with a photo of SpaceX’s first working spacesuit," an article in Quartz by Anne Quito. The article covers Elon Musk's recent Instagram post of Musk in a minimalist space suit.

From the article:

On pressurized spacecraft, passengers don’t need spacesuits all the time. But as Tim Fernholz writes, pressurized suits are a mandatory safety precaution in national space programs.

Experience has led space programs to conclude that a pressure suit is worth the weight, cost and discomfort. Soviet astronauts flew without pressure suits—“they wanted to project an image of this being a ride on a bus,” Nicholas de Monchaux says—but when an oxygen valve failed on a Soyuz craft returning to earth in 1971, it depressurized 100 miles above the ground. The recovery crew found the three cosmonauts onboard dead from asphyxiation. Now, all Soyuz crew members wear suits when they fly.

Below, Musk's Instagram post with the caption "First picture of SpaceX spacesuit. More in days to follow. Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately."

Read the rest of the article and more from Quartz here.