Space exploration is now at its peak, with SpaceX, Amazon, and NASA preparing and planning to send astronauts outside the Earth, whether it will be Mars, the Moon or the deep space.
Not many people have been thinking about the outfit required for space. We know it is not a small thing. Without the appropriate suit, one’s blood could turn to gas inside one’s body even before making its first step on the Mars’ surface.
Amy Ross, head of the Advanced Spacesuit and Technology Lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is conducting the evolution and enhancement of the NASA’s future spacesuits. The new models aspire to enable the wearer to move around more easily, bettering the old white suits that astronauts have used on their spacewalk for decades.
The models are called the Z-series and are still in the first testing stages. However, Ross said that the final product might look similar to the current white and puffy spacesuit.
For flamboyant commercial space companies, the look can occupy a more prominent place. Organizations such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is aiming to send tourist who pays enormous amounts of money on short scenario trips to space. These expeditions will be suborbital, and the people abroad will be safe inside an air-tight capsule with no need to concern about pressurized suits with a life support system.
The Virgin Galactic teamed up with Under Armour to design chic flight outfits with the purpose of making passengers feel comfortable on the way to space at roughly three times the speed of sound. The suits are anticipated to be revealed sometime this year.
In the meantime, Boeing and SpaceX have agreements with NASA to start the planning and flying of astronauts to the International Space Station. Both agencies have created their spacesuits for astronauts to wear on their way to the space station. Those outfits have to be pressurized and feature lots of safety customizations, but the legendary SpaceX wanted its suits to look like an article of science-fiction clothing.
Future passengers of Elon Musk’s space company will probably be able to wear the spacesuits while making interplanetary trips, but the suits are most likely not fitting to sustain people outside the space capsule with the severe temperatures and toxic atmosphere on Mars.
BioSuit is on the make
A new spacesuit that contains it all is being worked on at the moment. Dava Newman, an MIT astronautics professor, and a former NASA deputy administrator, aims to create the perfect suits for space expeditions. She has been developing the BioSuit for years. The outfit is a sleek suit that has the ability to protect astronauts in extreme space environments.
Newman said that rather than pressurizing a spacesuit resembling a balloon, the BioSuit applies pressure on the skin. That pressure is what prevents the fluids in the body from going crazy in the thin atmosphere of the Red Planet.
The BioSuit’s portable life support system is incorporated into a compact package, and the molding design could enable an enjoyable comfort and mobility.
The design is in the mock-up stage, and there is no assurance that it will be seen on the market.
Ernestina Saenz Salcido is a reporter for News Lair. She mostly writes on her free time about gadgets and tech news. When she’s not working she takes care of her 2 daughters.