Headlines > News > "Orbital Outfitters" Launched as new company to provide next generation space suits

"Orbital Outfitters" Launched as new company to provide next generation space suits

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Dec 7, 2006 6:27 pm
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“Have Spacesuit – Will Travel,” from the famous Robert Heinlein novel, is also the tagline of a new company that intends to do just that – make sure a new generation of commercial civilian Space travelers, adventurers and explorers fly in style and safety in Space suits like none designed before.

Orbital Outfitters Inc. (OO) was announced today by Rick Tumlinson, Chairman & President of the firm. Kicked off by the XPrize in 2004, thousands of tickets to space are already being sold for rides into space. OO will provide emergency space suits and apparel for crew and passengers riding aboard these next generation spaceships.

OO, based in Los Angeles, CA and Washington, D.C., also announced its first contract – with XCOR Aerospace – a multi-million dollar NewSpace firm in Mojave, CA. OO will deliver the first “IS-3” Space suits (Industrial Sub-Orbital Space Suits) to XCOR Aerospace in 2007. XCOR develops rocket propulsion systems and rocket powered vehicles for private consumer Space flight. (See www.xcor.com ) Beyond XCOR, OO also has preliminary agreements with other firms for their suit needs.

“There is a new era starting right now in Space,” said Mr. Tumlinson. “Billions of dollars are flowing into all kinds of new commercial spaceships, which will carry all kinds of people into Space. Orbital Outfitters and its parent firm XTreme Space Inc. intend to help make this happen, make it happen in style, and make it happen at a profit – for the rocket companies, for us and for our investors.”

Mr. Tumlinson refers to Orbital Outfitters as a “renaissance firm,” one that is comprised of a team of experts in the areas of Space travel, aerospace business, the design and manufacturing of Space suits and Hollywood costume and effects. With over 100 years of combined experience dealing with all matters of Space travel and “New Space” companies, staff members also have extensive backgrounds in aerospace policy and dealings with NASA, the FAA and the Department of Defense.

“There are already thousands of people making reservations to fly in the first sub-orbital Space ships,” said Jeff Fiege, OO’s VP of Development. “OO’s mission is to provide low cost, industrial quality Space suits and related services to companies providing commercial and government Space travel. Initially, we will develop and produce high quality Space suits and extreme environment survival equipment and systems for the use of Space flight crews, using a leasing model. This will lower the up-front costs and overhead of our customers.”

“We are excited about Orbital Outfitters joining the industry,” said XCOR’s CEO, Jeff Greason. “While traditional pressure suit providers make great products, their current suits did not meet our unique specifications for use by a variety of space flight participants. Orbital Outfitters has found an innovative approach that can meet our price and performance requirements. We will work closely with them to develop a suit that enhances the safety of commercial human spaceflight.”

Academy Award-winning Hollywood Special Effects and Space Suit expert Chris Gilman, OO’s CEO & Chief Designer, leads a team of top suit and life support experts including former NASA personnel. “Our first suit is what you call a “get me down alive” suit – an emergency pressure suit called the ‘IS-3’ (Industrial Sub-Orbital Space Suit)” he said. “The primary function of the IS-3 is to provide a line of protection in the event of a loss of atmospheric pressure within the Space vehicle. Among the features of the IS-3 suits are their ability to provide life support functions for 30-minutes or longer at 500,000 feet, superior visibility of the user, maximum mobility, and the fact that they are comfortable to wear—while looking very ‘cool.’”

“This is not your father’s space program,” Tumlinson added: “The products produced by our company are about both form and function, being on the leading edge, yet being safe. When someone puts on an IS3, they will be protected by the best technology we can muster, yet they will look like they stepped off the set of a science fiction movie. In fact, we are going to offer customers the chance to buy the outer layer of their suit as souvenirs, which will have a NASCAR/Grand Prix look to them in the colors of the rocket firm on which they flew. This may well be followed by marketing apparel to the general public like windbreakers and club wear, all based on the rise of NewSpace – and we are looking for partners in those areas right now as well.”

“With billionaires financing some of the first companies, and passengers paying up to $200k for a ride, Space is about to become chic,” Tumlinson continued. “One reason we are doing this is to open a pathway for those who may not be billionaires, yet still want to invest — or get involved — on the ground floor of this incredible business.”

Xtreme Space, Inc. (XTS,) is an advanced Space technology and operations firm seeking business opportunities in the human Space arena. XTS and its subsidiaries will be making further announcements in the next few months. For more information, please call 818.985.7367, or visit www.orbitaloutfitters.com

Contact: Dan Harary
Asbury Communications PR
Beverly Hills, CA
310.859.1831
dan@asburypr.com

ATTACHMENT

ABOUT THE RISE OF “NEW SPACE”:

Today, there are several private, entrepreneurial companies focused on providing suborbital and orbital Space flights at substantially lower costs than current providers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Orbital Sciences. Often labeled as “New Space” firms, some of these companies see paying passengers as the primary market for their systems.

In addition, several entrepreneurs are at an advanced stage of development for private Space flights, anticipating vehicle testing before the end of 2007. These include Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, XCOR Aerospace, John Carmak’s (creator of the videogames “Quake” and “Doom”) Armadillo Aerospace, Jeff Bezos’ (founder of Amazon.com) Blue Origin, PlanetSpace and Rocketplane-Kistler, all of which have made public their interest to begin passenger operations during the 2008-2010 timeframe. Along with these firms are others such as Robert Bigelow’s (founder of the hotel chain Budget Suites of America) Bigelow Aerospace, which has announced the first commercial Space hotel/facility to be lofted by 2010.

Due to the long history of limited access to human Space flight, and because of the potential for substantial profits should these companies succeed, there is a great deal of excitement about the prospect of private Space flight and its potential to revolutionize Space activities. Several studies have predicted that there will be large numbers of private Spaceflight passengers vying for a chance to be one of the first to see “God’s eye view of the Earth.” With the strong financial profile of the supporters behind these projects and the credibility of such pioneers as Burt Rutan and others, not to mention tentative NASA and DOD support for future Space travel, the “New Space” industry is poised to take-off.

ABOUT THE ORBITAL OUTFITTERS TEAM:

Rick Tumlinson – Chairman & President:

Called one of the world’s most influential space personalities by a major industry publication, Rick Tumlinson has helped create or fund many New Space firms and projects and signed up Dennis Tito as the first commercial Space flight participant aboard the International Space Station. He also led the team which leased the Russian Mir Space Station for a year (the world’s first commercial Space station.) Rick founded the Space Frontier Foundation and ran the $25 million Foundation for the International Non-Governmental Development of Space (FINDS). He co-founded LunaCorp – which produced the first commercial to be shot on the ISS, helped start the Lunar Prospector project which discovered indications of water on the Moon, was a member of the Air Force’s DC-X single stage rocket team, and was part of the support team which founded the International Space University. He has testified six times in front of Congress on Space issues, and has appeared in or been quoted by almost every major media publication and outlet of note, from the New York Times to the BBC, from CNN to the People’s Daily in China.

Chris Gilman – CEO/Chief Designer:

In addition to his post with Orbital Outfitters, Chris Gilman is Founder and CEO of Global Effects, Inc., one of the best-known and respected special effects firms in Hollywood. Founded in 1986, Global Effects occupies a 20,000 square foot facility complete with machine shops, design studios and a large costume rental business. Gilman has over twenty years of experience in the fast moving and deadline oriented world of film and TV production. His forte is spacesuit replicas, for which he is acknowledged as the industry leader, with his work featured in dozens of the top Space films of all times. Not just a costumer, Gilman is known for his technical prowess and engineering work as well. He is the winner of an Academy Award for his “Cool Suit” climate system for actors in heavy costume, and has developed prototype EVA suits for NASA.

Dr. Tomas Svitek – Program Manager:

Dr. Tomas Svitek has a wide and deep history in the field of Space project engineering and management. Beginning with a PhD from Caltech, he was a systems engineer on the NASA Mars Scout, Mars Surveyor, Mars Sample Return and various Discovery Missions. Along with being an accomplished hands-on engineer, he is an expert at project planning and management, as well as a well-respected scientist in his own right. He was the Principal Scientist for Orbital Sciences Corporation, Project Leader for the BlastOff Lunar Lander project with Jim Cameron and AeroAstro’s miniature spacecraft project. He has managed and completed projects for NASA, the US Air Force Research Lab, Microcosm Incorporated, and SpaceX Corporation. Until recently, he held the position of lead engineer for Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins Crew Capsule. Meanwhile, he has found the time to publish over 25 scientific and technical papers on all aspects of spaceflight.

Dr. Jim Logan – CTO Suit Manufacturing:

Dr. Logan has held numerous positions at NASA including Chief of Flight Medicine where he was personal physician to the astronauts and their families, Chief of Medical Operations and Special Liaison Officer to the Space Station Program Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As project Manager for the Space Station Medical Facility, he developed the initial design for a telemedicine-based in-flight medical care delivery system for long duration missions. A pioneer in telemedicine, he is a founding board member of the American Telemedicine Association. He has also served as Provost for International Space University in Strasbourg, France as well as a consultant for The Rand Corporation.

Krysta Paradis – Chief Operating Officer:

Krysta Paradis’ previous employment was with the Futron Corporation of Bethesda, MD, where she managed data relating to the Space satellite industry. Prior to and following her work at Futron, she has been an executive consultant for Dynamic Graphics, a subsurface modeling software company, whose primary business is focused on exploration for the oil and gas industries. Paradis lived in Moscow between the years 2003-2004, during which time she assisted with the setup of Dynamic Graphics first office in Russia as well as held a position working for the former chief of Police of Moscow. She speaks Russian and has a dual degree in Astrophysics and International Relations from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

Jim Cohen – Chief Strategic Officer:

Jim Cohen has founded several businesses and served as a marketing consultant to major companies for over thirty years. His entrepreneurial successes include Liberty National Bank, ACH Financial Services (acquired by Electronic Data Systems,) and a global dealer distribution network (acquired by Chrysler Corporation.) Cohen’s clientele have included Disney, Fox and Turner Broadcasting, Hughes Aircraft, Security Pacific and Northern Trust banks, General Motors, Chrysler and Penske Automotive Group. His articles and commentary have been published nationally by The Wall St. Journal, Robb Report and Journal of Estate Planners.

Jeff Feige – VP for Development and Investor Relations:

Jeff Feige has worked exclusively for “New Space” entrepreneurial Space companies as a consultant for both government affairs and government marketing for the past four years. Prior to his work directly with these companies, he was employed as the Assistant to the Executive Director of the Aerospace States Association, an organization devoted to developing the aviation and Space industries through the tools available to state government. Prior to that, he served as the Washington, D.C., representative of the National Coalition of Spaceport States; an organization intended to encourage the development of private spaceports throughout the United States. In addition to his work in the New Space industry, he has also worked as the VP for government and investor relations for Talon Aerospace, an LED lighting firm that develops internal and external lighting solutions for the commercial air transportation industry.

ABOUT ORBITAL OUTFITTERS/XTREME SPACE, INC.:

Founded in 2006, and based in Los Angeles, CA, and Washington, D.C., Orbital Outfitters, a subsidiary of Xtreme Space, Inc. (a California Corporation,) is a new company that develops, designs and produces Space suits for the next generation of human Space flight.

Xtreme Space, Inc. (XTS,) is an advanced Space technology and operations firm seeking business opportunities in the human Space arena. XTS and its subsidiaries will be making further announcements in the next few months. For more information, please call 818.985.7367, or visit www.orbitaloutfitters.com

Contact: Dan Harary
Asbury Communications PR
Beverly Hills, CA
310.859.1831

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