As a kid Cameron Smith dreamed of becoming an astronaut but his eyesight keep him out of the pilot’s seat. Now he’s an anthropologist in Portland, Oregon, where he’s spent the last decade building a fully functional homemade space suit.
image/text credit: WIRED
He’s not an astronaut. He’s not even an engineer. Cameron Smith is an archaeologist in the anthropology department at Portland State University in Oregon. But Smith is an explorer by nature. He’s been diving in Puget Sound, survived arctic winters in Iceland and Alaska, and summited Oregon’s Mount Hood more times than he can count.via(slate).
And since Smith doesn’t have an entire space program behind him, that means doing it on the cheap. His homemade spacesuit costs $2,000. A standard-issue suit from NASA runs about $12 million.
The spacesuit has been three years in the making. Eventually, Smith will put on the suit and step into a gondola and a balloon (also homemade) that will take him up 50,000 feet in the air. At that point, he’ll be depending on his own craftiness to keep himself alive.