Voyage to the stratosphere BBC

Engineers from Russia’s spacesuit manufacturer, Zvezda, have been advising the British explorers who intend to ride a balloon to the fringes of space. The UK duo, Colin Prescot and Andy Elson, will attempt to set a new world balloon altitude record in July. They hope to get to a height of 40,000 metres (132,000 feet) in the largest helium balloon ever constructed. The Russian spacesuits are tailored for the mission’s diverse requirements of sun and shade, dramatic changes in temperature and the need for flexibility. Dr Richard Crowther, of QinetiQ, told BBC News Online: “The environment that Andy and Colin will encounter will be similar in terms of atmosphere, temperature and pressure to the surface of Mars.”