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High-Tech Spacesuits Eyed for ‘Extreme Exploration’

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posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 06:51 AM
Future explorers on the Moon and Mars could be outfitted in lightweight, high-tech spacesuits that offer far more flexibility than the bulky suits that have been used for spacewalks in the 1960s.

Research is under way at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a Bio-Suit System that incorporates a suit designed to augment a person’s biological skin by providing mechanical counter-pressure. The “epidermis” of such a second skin could be applied in spray-on fashion in the form of an organic, biodegradable layer.

This coating would protect an astronaut conducting a spacewalk in extremely dusty planetary environments. Incorporated into that second skin would be electrically actuated artificial muscle fibers to enhance human strength and stamina.

The Bio-Suit System could embody communications equipment, biosensors, computers, even climbing gear for spacewalks or what NASA calls an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA).

“When we get back to the Moon and on Mars, we’re not going there to stay in a habitat,” said Dava Newman, professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems here at MIT. “EVA becomes … a primary function,” she said.


finally they are coming up with a solution to get new and less bulky spacesuits.

[edit on 26-1-2005 by MarkLuitzen]

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 10:34 AM
Sounds pretty amazing if they are close to production.

The enhanced strength and stamina sounds almost like science fiction. Great though if it is real.

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 10:39 AM
sounds like grey aliens suit

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 11:04 AM
This is amazing technology, I know that there are some kind of combat suits that have been in the making for probably longer than the Moon suits. But they are almost in production. And I am sure that some of them are already in production because they said that all of the Army is getting new Gear and boots and all. They said it would be in everyones hands before June of this year. But they are starting to issue the new equiptment when people are making thru Boot Camp. But something else that also exited me about suits and Technology is there was a suit built some where in Japan or somewhere overseas from the U.S.

This suit that is available right now. Well there is at least one that is available is SEE through .... There are billions of lenses on the front of the suit and there are billions of tiny little cameras that are on the back of it ... it is kinda crazy ... But you can go look at it, I will try and find somethign else on it.

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 04:04 PM
The European Space Agency will probably build one before NASA does. Our space program isn't the best anymore. Europe already launched SMART 1 satellite that uses a new Ion Propulsion Engine and it's working fine.

Although I do hope those astronauts get to wear some sort of garmet over their intimate parts and not just the "sprayed on organic suit."

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 04:25 PM
(Warning: Yes, I am a curmudgeon...)

We had another thread on this a long time ago. Never in the history of government has any agency wasted more money on completely useless crackpot ideas as has NASA; the administrators have a Darwinian approach to innovation: 'try everything, and see what works'. But we got velcro.

When I go into an extreme environment, the last thing I want is something sheer, thin, or sprayed-on. Of course, I am an old fashioned pilot. As in I prefer wool underwear in Alaska. Not Gore-Sucks. And a parka with a fur collar. Wool socks, not Leggs. And a real extreme exploration suit when off-planet.

This latest your-tax-dollars-paid-me-to-study-Seven-of-Nine crapola would be hilarious if it wasn't spending the money that could take you and me to the Moon, Mars and Beyond.

On the other thread, I encouraged all Junior Pilots to do a thought experiment about plasti-dipping a frog (yes, frog dies) up to the neck (please don't actually try this), then to imagine spraying plastisol onto some of the more private and hairier parts of their anatomy- then peeling off. Ouch. Now Yes, we can all shave our pits and other bits then spray away but a mammal still dies if you plasticize its pores. Ask any woman if makeup makes their face warmer (no, it does not insulate). But I've come up with an experiment You Can Do At Home- for real: get a can of spray bandage stuff at the drug store. Spray your left arm from the elbow to the wrist. Now fill a five gallon bucket with ice cubes, rock salt and water. Have a timer clock handy. Now plunge your left arm into the bucket and start the timer. Two, three, four seconds and YOWWWWW!! Hurts, doesn't it. Now try your unsprayed right arm. Two, three, four seconds and Same Result. Spray-on suits are sure real good for 'Extreme Exploration'- NOT. Now wash off your left arm with whatever solvent (mmmm Vodka) the maker reccomends. Imagine those Explosive Fumes building up in a hermetically-sealed life support system...

While you're at it, go outside and spray the rest of the band-aid spray up into the air with the sun at your back. See all the pretty microspheres of sticky plastisol? Imagine them in zero gee in the same sealed cabin, all floating around, not falling, not blowing away. While you breathe. Yeah, emphasema sure is fun under the conditions of 'Extreme Exploration'...

Make mine a hard suit.

Postscript Addendum: why do I care so passionately about this? Well, one of my ancestors was involved with the Cherokees Will Rogers and Wiley Post. Wiley (where the Coyote got his name) was a good ol boy from Oklahoma who, just out of the blue really, invented the world's first pressure suit for flying above the viable atmosphere. He did this on his own; NASA did not exist yet. You can see the first Aviator's Pressure Suit here. Can you believe the looks of that space suit? You can not imagine how cold, how hot, and how deadly space is until you've been out of the atmosphere. Space sucks.

[edit on 26-1-2005 by Chakotay]

posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 06:44 PM

Originally posted by nukunuku
sounds like grey aliens suit

Thats exactly what I was thinking and have always thought about the Greys. They are no more grey with big black eyes then that 2020 astronaut is white with one giant black eye.

Granted they would have a much more advanced version but its the same basic concept.The artificial muscle fibers part is scary those Greys might not be as weak as they look with the broomstick size arms.

posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 08:46 PM
yea, I am with Chakotay on this.

It is nice they take into account the low pressure of space, but honestly that is the least of the worries for a space walker. The biggest reason for bulky space suits is becasue of temprature extremes, and micrometeroites. Which this bio-suit does NOTHING to prevent

posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 07:56 PM
Sorry to dig up this old thread, but they ever put these bio-space suits into production? or is there a new model out now? I am just a little curious.

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