Space Suits New Generation Let Astronauts to Explore Mars

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 15:01

Having the right outfit for astronauts is a matter of life and death. Researchers from UND have built two prototype suits for deep-space missions: the NDX-1, which is meant to be used on the Martian surface, and the NDX-2, for lunar excursions.

The Verge reports that making a space suit is an incredibly complex design process and a life-support system that circulates oxygen through the suit basically has to sit on the astronaut’s back.

As Pablo de León, director of the space suit laboratory at the University of North Dakota said, “It's very difficult to contain a human inside basically what is a bag full of oxygen,” because it must keep people alive and it needs to be flexible enough to work in.

“For the Moon, you can get by with more weight — more weight in your portable life-support system that will provide you with oxygen and the right temperature,” says de León. “On Mars, it's more complicated because we have more gravity than on the Moon, so you have to make it more lightweight.”

If the destination is Mars, designers have to take into consideration the Red Planet’s temperature and atmospheric conditions, as well as the type of dust that the suit will come in contact with. The Moon has one-sixth the gravity of Earth, which will make objects feel much lighter than they do on our planet. That can have a big influence on the design of a lunar suit.

Opinions


Popular News

Latest News