NASA S1035 (ACES) Helmet

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machzeropoint2

New Member
Didn't make quite as much progress as I thought I would this weekend but such is life. The visors took way more finagling then expected to get them just the right shape and size., but hey its starting to look like an actual space helmet!! I tried to take a few picture of the ear assembly as well. I think I will need to come up with some sort of spacer for the ear core (the center cylinder which everything rotates around). When designing I arbitrary said make it 20% longer, with the plan of cutting off the excess, and I think it may still be too short. Also asavage the pictures look great, you could almost be on a gantry somewhere!

It occurs to me after I uploaded the pictures, I mounted the smoke visor upside down...whoops
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lmgill

Sr Member
We finally got some of our ACES helmets back from rental. They have been out since before the COVID19 shutdown.
Here is a very faithful replica of the NASA ACES S-1035 helmet. Its currently a bit beaten up, but all the colors and surface textures are correct to a real S-1035. In fact, we sent one of these to NASA-JSC, to the crew escape training team, and their director put our helmet on a table with a real one and asked the team to pick the real from our replica, it was a 50/50 split.
Some notes:
  • All of the nomenclature stickers / graphics are "movieland" (added for "The Martian) and not real.
  • The parachute shrouds (White shells over the visor mech.) are vacuumformed ABS, texture out, as are the real ones.
  • The visor reinforce pieces are brown / tan reinforced plastic. I think the real ones are phenolic resin. Ours are epoxy resin with some tight weave, light-weight tan fabric laid in. These where laid up on a sheet of glass and glued to the visor with epoxy.
  • The smoke visor is "bronze" not grey.
  • The reflective 3M tape on the back of the helmet, should not be too neat or symmetrical. The real ones are quite hap-hazard in the application. The one question the NASA crew escape team asked, was how do we get our tape so neat looking and symmetrical?
  • The hardware is almost all "black". our pieces are black nickel plated.
  • The rectangular plate with the cylinder "roller" (between the visor pivot and the Hollywood "helmet type" sticker) is to hold the clear viso in the open position. There is a corresponding half cylinder "bump" glued to the inside of the clear visor, that bumps up and over the 2 rollers (one each side).
  • The fitting with the white cable, is the electrical connector for the helmet.
  • There is an internal flat rubber pad covered in thin leather across the chin area of the helmet. It's approximately 1.25" by 11"
  • The is a quilted fabric covered soft foam pad on the upper back part of the helmet.

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machzeropoint2

New Member
WOW! I dont say that lightly. These are fantastic. The realistic weathering of painted metal (whether its by use or by design) is fantastic as are all the details. I assumed the shroud was to protect the assembly, but it makes way more sense to protect the shroud lines in a bailout situation. Although talking to a few actual fliers, I think that would have been the least of there worries given the incredibly small envelope for a successful bailout. Ill be honest I think the thing that surprises me the most is the haphazard tape. I fly with a helmet that is similarly taped, but the guys that take care of the gear or PRs are artists in their own right.

In the process of building the use of the rounded rectangle in the very middle has continued to elude me. The main screw that attaches the bailer bar goes right through it. Yours is black, Adams was metallic blue. It it just a spacer or does it serve some other purpose that I dont quite understand

Thank you for sharing! These are fantastic reference pictures and details.



We finally got some of our ACES helmets back from rental. They have been out since before the COVID19 shutdown.
Here is a very faithful replica of the NASA ACES S-1035 helmet. Its currently a bit beaten up, but all the colors and surface textures are correct to a real S-1035. In fact, we sent one of these to NASA-JSC, to the crew escape training team, and their director put our helmet on a table with a real one and asked the team to pick the real from our replica, it was a 50/50 split.
Some notes:
  • All of the nomenclature stickers / graphics are "movieland" (added for "The Martian) and not real.
  • The parachute shrouds (White shells over the visor mech.) are vacuumformed ABS, texture out, as are the real ones.
  • The visor reinforce pieces are brown / tan reinforced plastic. I think the real ones are phenolic resin. Ours are epoxy resin with some tight weave, light-weight tan fabric laid in. These where laid up on a sheet of glass and glued to the visor with epoxy.
  • The smoke visor is "bronze" not grey.
  • The reflective 3M tape on the back of the helmet, should not be too neat or symmetrical. The real ones are quite hap-hazard in the application. The one question the NASA crew escape team asked, was how do we get our tape so neat looking and symmetrical?
  • The hardware is almost all "black". our pieces are black nickel plated.
  • The rectangular plate with the cylinder "roller" (between the visor pivot and the Hollywood "helmet type" sticker) is to hold the clear viso in the open position. There is a corresponding half cylinder "bump" glued to the inside of the clear visor, that bumps up and over the 2 rollers (one each side).
  • The fitting with the white cable, is the electrical connector for the helmet.
  • There is an internal flat rubber pad covered in thin leather across the chin area of the helmet. It's approximately 1.25" by 11"
  • The is a quilted fabric covered soft foam pad on the upper back part of the helmet.

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machzeropoint2

New Member
I managed to make some more progress on the ear assembly and am beginning to understand how the piston interacts with the bailer bar as demonstrated below. That being said through this entire project I think I can say I GROSSLY UNDERESTIMATED how difficult it would be to shape the bailer bar. In the spirit of this fourm, Ill share my failures along with my success. Today I had to walk away out of pure frustration after almost 2 and half hours of attempting to bend the aluminum into a proper shape. You can see the graveyard of scrap aluminum below. Will have to re think my methodology
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lmgill

Sr Member
In the process of building the use of the rounded rectangle in the very middle has continued to elude me. The main screw that attaches the bailer bar goes right through it. Yours is black, Adams was metallic blue. It it just a spacer or does it serve some other purpose that I dont quite understand
That rounded rectangle is a gearbox. when the bail bar is pulled down, after the visor has been lowered with the white plastic pulls on the leading edge of the visor, the lever coming out of that box turns a worm gear inside the box and via two perpendicular drives, it pivots that box and pulls the the visor (fore and aft) into the seal, and at the same time, squeezes the sides of the visor into the seal.
If the bail bar is pulled with the visor in the up position, this same action happens, but pulling the visor into the top of the helmet. Astronauts (and actors) have to be trained, NOT to lower the visor with the bail bar, but with those two, thick white ABS tabs glued to the visor.
The correct color for all these pieces is back. The real one is a combination of stainless steel, aluminum and perhaps Titanium.

For our tape job, I made a set of aluminum patterns with "grain lines" (lines that you match to the grain line of the tape) and cut around them, flipping them for left and right. We sent a set to the Boeing service team, so their future tape jobs looked neater.
 

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lmgill

Sr Member
I managed to make some more progress on the ear assembly and am beginning to understand how the piston interacts with the bailer bar as demonstrated below. That being said through this entire project I think I can say I GROSSLY UNDERESTIMATED how difficult it would be to shape the bailer bar. In the spirit of this fourm, Ill share my failures along with my success. Today I had to walk away out of pure frustration after almost 2 and half hours of attempting to bend the aluminum into a proper shape. You can see the graveyard of scrap aluminum below. Will have to re think my methodology
Bail Bar:
All the bail bar is, is a semi circle, with the ends bending up at a 90 degree bend. There need to be a bit of a flat spot in front, and perhaps (to be 100% correct) one on each side, just before the bend upwards. Make a wooden template. This is basically a semicircle cut from some 3/4" particle board, with the vertical section (where you make you 90 degree bends) marked.

The small tube attached to the bail bar, is a spring loaded release, that makes the bail bar move upward, when released from the latch in the center front of the helmet. (see my last picture). Inside that tube, is an extension spring, that applies upward pressure on the smaller shaft, and ultimately, the bail bar. This way, when the double lock on the latch is released, the bail bar pops up, clearing it from the latch.
 

machzeropoint2

New Member
Bail Bar:
All the bail bar is, is a semi circle, with the ends bending up at a 90 degree bend. There need to be a bit of a flat spot in front, and perhaps (to be 100% correct) one on each side, just before the bend upwards. Make a wooden template. This is basically a semicircle cut from some 3/4" particle board, with the vertical section (where you make you 90 degree bends) marked.

The small tube attached to the bail bar, is a spring loaded release, that makes the bail bar move upward, when released from the latch in the center front of the helmet. (see my last picture). Inside that tube, is an extension spring, that applies upward pressure on the smaller shaft, and ultimately, the bail bar. This way, when the double lock on the latch is released, the bail bar pops up, clearing it from the latch.

I seriously can not thank you enough for explaining both those pieces to me. I think I learned more about the helmet functionality in the last hour then in the last 50 hours of online research. As it turns out there is a limit to how much can be derived from a 3D model and reference pictures. I had a few ideas about what the purpose of the gearbox was but as it turns out, a complete gearbox assembly inside that piece was not one of them. As for the bailer bar I was also thinking some sort of wooden template would be extremely helpful. I was trying to replicate Adams method of hand bending but I discovered the vice I was using just wasn't tight enough to the table to get a consistent amount of pressure, meaning each bend varied even more so then normal. The tape template is genius. Today was just one of those days I was blown away by how much I dont know. Its good to have those every now and again.
 

machzeropoint2

New Member
Getting closer to the end. Still need to add the bailer bar but wanted to wait. I had to have a few pieces re cut and designed. The ear piece is currently a little loose and sloppy for my taste.

The tape job was my 4th attempt and looks far better then my previous attempts. I used a heat gun and rubber squeegee which helped immensely but the tape is still trying to come up in random places along the edges making the clear visor difficult to open and close. I wonder if anyone knows the exact type of tape used? I am currently using "White DOT-C2 Conspicuity Reflective Tape - 2" Inch X 50' Feet" found on Amazon.


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asavage

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That tape is exactly what I used and I thought all of mine looked *****. Then I went back to the NASA reference photos and their helmets have misaligned tape here and there, and edges crawling up. So a slight bit of jank turns out to be authentic.
 

machzeropoint2

New Member
That tape is exactly what I used and I thought all of mine looked *****. Then I went back to the NASA reference photos and their helmets have misaligned tape here and there, and edges crawling up. So a slight bit of jank turns out to be authentic.

Well I guess I’ll take that as a win that I got it right. (I managed to pull that together from a few screen grabs from your video) I’ll have to keep that In mind for V2.0. The clearence between the clear visor band and the tape is a little too small so I’ll have to move the whole assembly up a few mm.

It is starting to finally come together though and look like a real helmet. Obviously there are quite a few things that I wish were a little tighter or neater but for a first project done from 3D prints and almost completely from scratch I think it will suffice for it’s intended purpose as a gift.

Any chance you have a shot of the interior stickers? I know there is at least one with some official NASA S/N and nomenclature.
 

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