NASA welcomed four companies into a collaboration agreement last week, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Final Frontier Design, a maker of spacesuits designed to be worn inside vehicles as humans travel into outer space.
When we first spoke to Final Frontier Design President Ted Southern earlier this year, he said that certification by NASA would be an important step for his company’s business. With this agreement — though it entails no actual funding from NASA — the company will work closely with experts inside the space agency.
According to a release from the company, “Via this SAA [Space Act Agreement], FFD will be conducting a series of defining reviews and tests including the System Requirements Review (SRR), System Definition Review (SDR), Preliminary Design Review (PDR), and Critical Design Review (CDR) of their space suit, with NASA input and interface.”
Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA, says the collaboration agreements represent the growing maturity of the commercial spaceflight industry.
“We look forward to working with these partners to advance space capabilities and make them available to NASA and other customers in the coming years,” McAlister said in a NASA press release, which indicated that the agency will offer technical expertise, assessments, technologies and data to the participating companies.
“Our goal is to provide a higher performing suit for less money, with the most extreme use envelope for Low Earth Orbit and Exploration missions,” Final Frontier Design’s Southern said. “We are very happy to work with NASA to ensure we are meeting the most stringent standards of the government and are grateful for their support. We look forward to offering a competitive alternative for launch and entry suits to both NASA and private industry.”