Spring Drive Spacewalk and EVA by Richard Garriott
At Baselworld, 2008, we announced the creation of the first watch ever designed specifically for a space walk.
Richard Garriott, who is to be the first person to wear it in space, is also on schedule with his training and other preparations. He will blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as planned in October this year.
Regrettably, however, it now seems that although Richard’s space trip to the International Space Station is still on schedule, his space walk will not take place. Richard announced the cancellation of the EVA to the public on his website http://www.richardinspace.com/ on June 11.
We are disappointed that this has happened. The Spring Drive Spacewalk watch has been specifically designed to withstand the extreme conditions of an EVA, and we were looking forward to this early opportunity to have its capabilities put to the ultimate test, and proven, on this mission.
We are still determined to prove our watch on a space walk; SEIKO Watch Corporation, Seiko Epson, and Space Adventures are now exploring the earliest possible alternative opportunity of an EVA.
As soon as we have a new plan to launch our Spring Drive Spacewalk into free space, we will announce it, and we assure you of our determination to demonstrate the efficacy of Seiko Spring Drive in free space. The first watch ever designed from scratch for a space walk will, one day soon, be proven.
Below is the message by Richard Garriott on his website.
Quotation from Richard Garriott’s website
In April Seiko Watch Corporation announced that I will be taking a specially designed “Spacewalk” watch into space with me. The intention was for me to wear this on a spacewalk, but unfortunately my dreams of a spacewalk have not materialized. But I still plan on taking the Seiko watch with me to the ISS.
I have had the Seiko watch with me for a couple months now and this is what I can tell you about it. I visited the Seiko factory in Japan in early March. During this visit I meet the amazing team that created this watch. In talking with them, and learning about what they went through in designing the watch , my enthusiasm and respect for Seiko grew immensely. My knowledge of what goes into making fine watches grew, and with that, my faith that the watch would perform very well in the unusual and extreme environments of space.
I have been wearing the watch through my training and it has already provided great service and survived through some torturous training. Most recently, I performed a nominal 4g and a ballistic 9g reentry simulation in the centrifuge. While these extremes challenge the human body and have recently destroyed a competitors watch worn by my backup in this simulation, the Seiko clearly had no problem with these conditions. I also subjected the watch to high temperature and humidity which also destroyed a watch I was previously wearing.
Next month I will subject the watch to what might be its most dangerous conditions on the ground, when I conduct my water landing survival training in the Black Sea. I will also have the chance to test the watch on a few zero-g parabolic flights prior to my spaceflight in October.
Not only has the Seiko Spacewalk watch proven to be a survivor in these difficult conditions, but it has proven to be invaluable as a critical timepiece and a beautiful addition to the amazing technologies of space travel. In my opinion it is something Seiko should rightly be proud of.
I look forward to making additional reports to you, especially of course, after my flight in October. While I personally won't be able to take the watch with me on a spacewalk, I and representatives from Space Adventures are working hard to get the watch an opportunity to be tested outside the ISS. It will be an honor to be the first person to bear this fine device into the cosmos, and I look forward to telling you more about it.
Mr. Richard Garriott’s mission is organized by Space Adventures, the company headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, USA, and which organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers. For more information about Richard Garriott’s mission, please visit www.spaceadventures.com.
Related Press Release at URL issued on April 3 at Baselworld 2008: http://www.seikowatches.com/baselworld/2008/press/details/10_spring_drive_spacewalk.html