Women astronauts have made a name for themselves. Unfortunately not many have survived to bask under the glory of their success. It is good to know that 47 American women astronauts have been there and done that but 10 per cent of these women have died during doomed space voyages. In order to make sure that the achievements of these high flying women don’t get lost in the pages of space history Bonhams, New York decided to auction space memorabilia of female astronauts. Come April 26th, 2012 Shannon Lucid’s Russian training suit will be put up for auction. The auction price set for the training suit, which the astronaut wore while preparing for her space journey (orbiting the Earth in the Mir), is $30,000-$50,000.
Shannon Lucid’s Space Suit
Shannon Lucid was the only American women and a non-Russian to have been actively involved in several space research projects for which she also spent a major portion of her time in space. Some of the interesting work’s that she did in her lifetime include the experiment wherein several experiments were made to grow food in outer space.
Her space suit, designed and made by Zvezda was as special as its owner. The suit, designed chiefly for emergencies in case of rapid drop of air pressure, has many interesting features. The suit comes with detachable gloves, several gauges and tubes, a belt that appears webbed and a pressure hood that is attached to the suit. The suit has been provided with a front lace opening at the rib cage level to make the donning part easy. However, the suit’s “rubber cloth lining is beginning to stick to itself and requires conservation”, states Matthew Haley, Bonhoms Manuscript specialist. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas and the Houston Space Centre will also be exhibiting the suit. It has been lent to them by the Kaller Historical Documents in Marlboro, N.J.
Space for Sale
The auctioning of Shannon’s suit is not the first time when ‘space has been put up for sale’. Promoting space as a means to make big bucks now tops the priority list of billionaires and millionaires. The excitement that space tourism is quickly gathering must have urged Sir Richard Branson’s to launch his ambitious venture, the Virgin Galatic. It promises to make space the next tourist hub. Virgin Galatic’s maiden journey is scheduled for 2013 or 2014. The world’s most expensive space flight its tickets have been priced for $200,000. While the jets and rockets are still being tested, Sir Richard’s company is already in the process of designing space suits for their guests. Inspired by James Bond’s space suit in the 1979 Bond movie, Moonraker, Branson has ensured that wearing these space suits will ensure total comfort to his guests en route to the moon!
While travelling in space, the new age space trotters can also think of making reservations at the Galactic Suite which happens to be the most expensive and the first space hotel. A three day stay at the hotel will cost its guests a whopping $4 million. Well, the experience will surely be out of this world!
Via NY Times