ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Felix Baumgartner's record breaking jump from 128,000 feet was almost a no go after the heater in his helmet malfunctioned, but he decided to go anyway.
He wore a pressurized suit that is getting a lot of attention. However former Shuttle astronaut, Sid Gutierrez says it's doubtful the first tourists to fly on a Virgin Galactic flight out of Spaceport America will be wearing a suit like Baumgartner's.
Baumgartner's suit is designed by the David Clark Company out of Massachusetts. A company spokesman says they got involved with the goal of gathering important data about escape and travel suits for space tourists.
The company has been building flight suits since 1941, starting with World War II. Their suits were worn by pilots who broke the sound barrier, took the first to walk in space and the Shuttle teams.
Gutierrez says the Baumgartner flight suit is part of an evolution of suits.
He now works for Sandia Labs and says the Baumgartner jump was well planned and his team knew what they were doing.
Gutierrez says tourists flying out of the Spaceport on a Virgin Galactic flight will probably not be required to wear a suit like the one used by Baumgartner.
The Virgin Glacactic flights will only be in outer space for a matter of minutes and not hours, days or weeks. Also, Gutierrez says tourists will want to have fun.
"The last thing you want when you get into a weightless environment and you are floating around, is to have this bulky suit on, which is annoying and distracting from the experience," Gutierrez said.
Baumgartner and the suit had sensors to collect data. Engineers will be testing the suit over the next few weeks to see if everything went as planned.
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