Mark IV


Designed following flight tests in 2014, in 2015 we fabricated the Mark IV (model ‘Zaphod’), which was lighter, simpler and less expensive than prior models; it also gave us much better mobility at high suit pressures and used no gas-tight zipper for the entrance, but rather an ‘appendix’ entrance much like that of the venerable ‘Sokol’ suit of Roscosmos the Russian space agency. Though the appendix held some pressure, we were not successful in keeping it gas-tight (likely a materials issue) and retired this model rather quickly — we will revisit the appendix closure in 2017. For the moment, you can get a glimpse at the end of our 2015 TEDx Portland talk!

Photo: Dr. Smith and Mathew Lippincott assist test subject Ben Wilson in the Mark IV ‘Zaphod’ suit in June 2015.