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  Spacesuit pioneer Joe Ruseckas (1917-2010)

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Author Topic:   Spacesuit pioneer Joe Ruseckas (1917-2010)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-22-2010 12:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Author Dennis Jenkins shared the unfortunate news from the David Clark Company that Joe Ruseckas passed away on March 19. Writes Jenkins:
Joe was the guy that designed and sewed the full pressure suits for Scott Crossfield and Marion Carl, and accompanied them in the P2B [the Navy's version of the B-29] to suit them up for their D558-2 [Douglas Skyrocket] flights...
The following obituary ran in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette on March 20:
Joseph A. Ruseckas, 92, passed away Friday, March 19, 2010, at the Rose Monahan Hospice Home. His wife of 63 years, Marcia J. (Fleck) Ruseckas, died in 2008.

He leaves a daughter, Connijean Murphy; a brother, Valentine Ruseckas; and 3 grandchildren, Max Goodman, Amanda Wheelock-Graves, and Dama Goodman. He was predeceased by a daughter, Marjo Thibodeau; brother, Vincent Russell; and sister, Katherine Stevens.

He was born in Worcester, son of Constanza (Beckute) and Anthony Ruseckas. He was a WWII veteran, having served in the Army Air Corps. He was Vice President of Research and Development at the David Clark Company, where he worked for 43 years. He was a member of Greendale People's Church, OX5 Pioneers, Hump Pilots Assoc., Aero Club of NE, National Aeronautic Assoc., MA Aviation Historical Society, NE Air Museum, American Air Museum (Britain), Air Force Museum (Dayton, Ohio), Test Pilots Historical Foundation, Air Force Assoc. Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assoc., American Astronautical Society, and the Dragon Lady Assoc.

Calling hours will be held at Nordgren Memorial Chapel, 300 Lincoln Street, on Sunday, March 21, from 3-6 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton, at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 22. Please omit flowers and donations can be made to Greendale People's Church, 25 Francis St., Worcester, MA 01606.

Among the space systems for which he receives credit, Ruseckas is remembered as the designer of the "first partially pressurized 'spacesuit' for keeping humans alive for lengthy periods at ultrahigh altitudes" for the U-2 program ["The C.I.A. and the U-2 Program, 1954-1974" Thomas Fensch, 2001] and the communications headset worn by Apollo astronauts on the Moon.

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SpaceAholic
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history in miniature
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Dennis R Jenkins
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posted 03-22-2010 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis R Jenkins   Click Here to Email Dennis R Jenkins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although largely unknown outside the industry, Joe was instrumental in the development of pretty much every modern aviation pressure suit produced in the United States (excepting the Navy-Goodyear efforts). Even at 92 years of age, he was active in the community and provided much counsel and guidance to me for my history of pressure suits I am writing for NASA. He will be missed.

kr4mula
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posted 03-22-2010 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed.

Delta7
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