October 20, 2005

Mars Space Suit Design


If we're going to Mars, we need new space suits. Last month, NASA announced plans to return to the moon by 2018, to use as a launching pad to Mars. In order to do so, a new space suit would be needed, and something less bulky would greatly improve the astronaut's ability to maneuver, especially as the old space suits are reffered to as "gas bags".

The proposed BioSuit will consist of a skintight body suit, a hard torso and backpack for life-support systems and equipment, and a domed helmet. The conceptual images for the project look like science fiction: sleek, color-coded spacemen and spacewomen climbing Martian windmills, whacking red rocks with hammers, and casually shaking hands.

Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics, who is taking up the challenge of building a new space suit based on designs made by Paul Webb in the late 1960s says "I just marvel at it, ... Every day, I look at the skin and say, 'How could this be designed so fantastically?' "

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