DailyDirt: Looking Fashionable In New Spacesuit Designs

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Protecting humans from the harsh environment of space isn’t easy, so spacesuits are usually bulky and not too fashionable. Buzz Lightyear’s outfit is actually not too unbecoming, but astronauts probably shouldn’t dress like animated characters, even if they could. Astronauts shouldn’t worry about what they look like as long as they’re safely protected, but certain astronaut images might scare off folks (aliens?). Here are just a few spacesuit designs that future space travelers are testing out now.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Companies: mit, nasa

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Looking Fashionable In New Spacesuit Designs”

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New Mexico Mark says:

Skin-tight space suit challenges not mentioned in MIT article

Although form fitting suits have always been an intriguing idea (especially when combined with attractive young actresses in sci-fi shows), vacuum is not the only enemy in space. Suits have to insulate the wearer from huge temperature extremes and some forms of radiation. Suits for extended EVA missions need mechanisms for collection of liquid and solid body waste. In surface environments (like the moon), suits also have to shed particulate contaminants well. Interestingly, suits have to protect not just the user but their environment as well. For instance, using normal water evaporation (sweat) through a suit as a cooling mechanism might be efficient, but could contaminate or damage sensitive spacecraft or satellite equipment.

The challenges remind me of my attempts to redesign the tent I use for backpacking to make it even lighter. It is reasonably spacious and weighs 1.5 lbs. By the time any of my ideas incorporate all of my requirements (quick set-up/breakdown, floor, small packed size, insect-proof, wind stability, vestibule, etc.) I’m pretty much back to the tent I already have.

Anonymous Coward says:

“especially when combined with attractive young actresses in sci-fi shows … Suits for extended EVA missions need mechanisms for collection of liquid and solid body waste.”

Not in Hollywood. Anyone who saw any space movie from 1979’s Alien to 2013’s Gravity knows that spacewomen wear nothing but skimpy undies under their spacesuits …

… and always emerge from their hermetically-sealed spacesuits completely dry, no matter how long they’ve been wearing them.

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