Canadian Arrow is proposing a new type of extreme sport we call "spacediving". During the 60's, NASA spent time researching the possibility of astronaut orbital escape systems. Several "Space Parachutes" were designed featuring personal retro-rockets and conical drag skirts or inflatable cones to protect a single astronaut during reentry. A self contained ballistic recovery system could be designed to bring a spacediver safely to the ground.

We believe this type of extreme sport could bring about a revolution in spacesuit design. We think that astronauts and spacedivers will eventually use Counter Pressure Suit technology. This type of suit uses elastic material instead of gas pressure to protect an astronaut from the vacuum of space. A good description of how this type of suit might work can be found in the book "The Millennial Project", written by Marshall T. Savage.

In the future spacedivers may routinely take 60-second rocket fights to the edge of space, proceed to jump out, and while wearing a counter pressure suit, will free fall to earth from 40 miles or more. Even today, reaching 120,000 ft to make a high altitude jump requires a balloon ride of many hours. By contrast, a sub-orbital rocket could take skydivers from the ground to this altitude in just minutes! This sport will initially develop at lower altitudes, with ever higher and higher record breaking jumps.

Even now, there are plans to break Joe Kittenger's 102,000 world record, set back in 1960. Several teams from across the globe are intent on jumping from altitudes of almost 28 miles high. Ultimately, a new permanent altitude record for a balloon jump will be set, with the maximum possible height of a balloon being the determining factor.

However, using a sub-orbital vehicle, new records can and will demolish any previously held altitude records.

While we are in the construction phase of building our X Prize vehicle, we are continuing to explore the spacediving aspect.

References:

Space Parachuting Skydiving from the Edge, from www.Space.com

Putting the Pressure On "Counter Pressure Suit Research in Australia"

World Record High Altitude Jump: Joe Kittinger (1960)

Magazine article "Ride The Fireball" (1999)

Loose Moose "One way to bail out of orbit"

Bail out "...ultimate adventure awaiting some millionaire thrill seeker."

Surviving Rapid Explosive Decompression at 1,000,000 feet

Human Exposure to Vacuum

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