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  Suits for Monkeynauts

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Author Topic:   Suits for Monkeynauts
kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 05-07-2008 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got an inquiry second-hand about making flight suits for the early generation of American animals to go into space. I was hoping someone on here could help. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Colin Burgesss and Chris Dubb's "Animals in Space," so I don't know if the answer is in there.

The inquirer asks, "A woman by the name of Alice King Chatham was a graduate in fine arts from the Dayton Art Institute who had a facility in sculpting animals she went to work at the Wright Patterson Aerospace Medical Lab, where she developed the suit and mask for a dog she then designed "suits and helmets" for rhesus monkeys...

Any chance you have any information on her and whether or not she stitched these monkey suits? Or, who actually did?"

There is nothing in the various Wright-Patt archives on her. I also think the information isn't exactly right because, to my knowledge, the US never used dogs as space flight test subject. The labs at Wright-Patt did use dogs in decompression tests early on, but I haven't seen suits for them.

If you have any info, I'll pass it along.

Cheers,

Kevin

ColinBurgess
Member

Posts: 1567
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 05-07-2008 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Kevin,

Unfortunately there's very little about the apparel worn by these animal subjects in our book, but there are photographs of monkeys and even a St. Bernard dog wearing early protective pressure and parachuting garments and a mask that could very well have been individually tailored by that woman. Sorry not to have been much help.

Colin

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 05-08-2008 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Colin. That at least gives me something to go on. I checked back in an old technical report on decompression tests and it did indeed show some type of pressure gear for dogs. No mention of who the seamstress was.

Cheers,

Kevin

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