MIT researchers developing skintight spacesuit for NASA astronauts

MIT researchers developing skintight spacesuit for NASA astronauts

Future NASA astronauts will wear new skintight spacesuits being developed by MIT researchers that will offer them more comfort and choice in mobility.

While the conventional bulkiness of existing space suits prove quite burdensome for astronauts and decrease their mobility in space, the next generation spacesuit (the MIT BioSuit) will reduce mass that will offer greater mobility.

The MIT BioSuit will be skintight, so it will have less mass. In addition, it will be fitting as it will conform to an astronaut's body shape.

Team leader Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics & astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, said that with a conventional spacesuit, an astronaut is essentially in a balloon of gas that provides him/her with the essential one-third of an atmosphere of pressure that keeps the astronaut alive in the vacuum.

Speaking about the new spacesuit, Newman added, "We want to achieve that same pressurization, but through mechanical counter pressure-applying the pressure directly to the skin, thus avoiding the gas pressure altogether."

On being cooled down, the new spacesuit will relax its mechanical connectors and loosen around the astronaut's body to allow him/her to get out of it.

However, more research is required for practical application of the new technologies that the researchers want to use to build the Biosuit to make sure that it works properly in the vacuum of space.

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