Only in Brooklyn: Local, Artisanal Astronaut Suits

Proving that everything in the universe really is made here in Brooklyn, Ted Southern and Nicolay Moiseev run Final Frontier Designs out of a studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where they design and build prototypes for NASA spacesuits. And—to make sure the story has even more of an “only in Brooklyn” quality—they got much of their funding from Kickstarter. Southern, whose first job in New York City was as a bike messenger, tells us that he and Moiseev, “met in 2007 as competitors at the first Astronaut Glove Competition, put on by NASA.” The two men later formed a partnership and moved forward with their designs “based on market demand and the general state of the commercial space industry.”

Kickstarter came into play because, Southern says, of “a conversation with a fellow space enthusiast, and the fact that I have a friend who just got a job there!” It is easy to fall prey to sayings like “the sky is not the limit” when writing about Southern and Moiseev, but, well, the sky is not the limit. When asked about their future plans, Southern says, “We aim to produce our first flight-certified suits in 2013, and we hope to be sending these suits into the stratosphere to keep people safe soon thereafter. I see a huge expansion in the burgeoning private space industry, and I hope we can be part of it.” As for himself? “I would like to be part of a mission to Mars.”

Photo Matt Feddersen

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