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New Class Teaches Students to Make Their Own Space Suits

By Meredith Hoffman | September 3, 2012 4:12pm

BUSHWICK — This fall two designers promise to expand your style horizons — beyond gravity's reach.

"Space suit technology," the latest class at Bushwick's 3rd Ward Collective, is teaching adventurous craftsmen to make the first components of their personalized space suits. Students even get to walk away with their own "pressurized fingers," and "valsalva device" nose plugs.

"We're teaching a variety of sculpting techniques, tying it to space and the future of mankind," said Ted Southern, who is instructing the class with his business partner Nikolay Moiseev, a mechanical engineer who's been designing suits the past 16 years. "It's a makers' class."

Southern and Moiseev — whose recently launched space suit making company Final Frontier Design operates out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard — will teach the theoretical and practical components of the gear's construction in their course that speaks to the new accessibility of space travel, Southern noted. 

"A variety of new companies are coming online offering human travel to orbital space in the next ten years,' he said, noting that the company Virgin Galactic is preparing for its first suborbital space tourism flight within the next year.

Southern also designs costumes for a living (including outfits for Cirque du'Soleil and apparel for a Victoria's Secret fashion show), but said the artisanal work relates to space suit making.

"It's science meets art," he said. 

And whatever students' plans are for their future creations, Southern said he was confident the class would have wide appeal.

"Space is inherently a cool place," he said.

Space suit technology starts Thursday, Sep. 13, and runs for six Thursday nights 7 — 10 p.m. Students can register on 3rd Ward's website.