NASA tests Mars space suit in Argentine Antarctica
By Luis Andres Henao | Reuters.com
A NASA team has tested a space suit in a setting with extreme conditions akin to some of those found on Mars -- an Argentine base in Antarctica -- for possible use on a visit to the Red Planet.
The NDX-1 space suit, designed by Argentine aerospace engineer Pablo de Leon, endured frigid temperatures and winds of more than 47 mph as researchers tried out techniques for collecting soil samples on Mars.
"This was the first time we took the suit to such an extreme, isolated environment so that if something went wrong we couldn’t just go to the store" and buy a repair kit, De Leon told Reuters recently after returning from the one week expedition.
Argentine aerospace engineer Pablo de Leon (L), a NASA team member, tests a space suit designed for possible use in Mars at Argentina’s Marambio base in Antarctica in this handout photo dated March 13, 2011.
The $100,000 prototype suit, created with NASA funds, is made out of more than 350 materials, including tough honeycomb Kevlar and carbon fibers to reduce its weight without losing resistance.
During the "Mars in Marambio" mission, named after the Argentine air force base, a team of NASA scientists went on simulated spacewalks, operated drills and collected samples while wearing the gear.
De Leon himself wore the pressurized suit, which he said was bound to make anyone feel claustrophobic with its helmet and built-in headset for communicating with the outside world.
The researchers chose Marambio because compared with other Antarctic bases, they had easier access to permafrost, or soil that stays frozen most of the year.
De Leon, who heads the space suit laboratory at the University of North Dakota in the United States, said Antarctica was ideal for sample collection as it is one of the least contaminated places on earth and will also give clues about the suit’s impact.
"Mars is a mixture of many different environments: deserts, and temperatures and winds like in Antarctica," De Leon said. "So we try to take bits of different places and try to see if our systems can withstand the rigors of Mars if we go there."
President Barack Obama said last year that by the mid-2030s it would be possible to send astronauts to orbit Mars and return them safely to earth. A landing on Mars would follow, he said.
But a manned mission to the most earth-like planet in the solar system may be even more distant, given NASA’s tightening budget.
The U.S. National Research Council this month recommended that robotic missions to Mars and Jupiter’s icy moon Europa should top the agency’s to-do list for an upcoming decade of planetary exploration.
De Leon, however, remains hopeful that his space suit or even a part of it will be worn by astronauts when they take their first steps on Mars.
"Even if just one bolt of our space suit or one tiny bit of our design makes it to Mars, I’ll be more than happy," he said.
Article from: reuters.com
Sudburys proud history of helping NASA prepare for its lunar missions is continuing this week as officials from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency are to field testing unmanned Moon mining vehicles with the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT).
NASA reps visit Sudbury to test Moon mining robots with NORCAT
Video from: YouTube.com
Also tune into:
Richard Dolan - The Secret Space Program & Breakaway Civilization
Richard C. Hoagland - The Secret Space Program & The Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Disaster
Paul A. LaViolette - Electrogravitics, Advanced Space Travel, Pulsars & Breakaway Civilization
Peter Levenda - Secret Space Program & NASA’s Nazis
Timothy Good - Secret Space Program, UFOs, ET & Coverup
Aaron Kaplan - Operation Highjump, The Secret Diary of Admiral Byrd & The Nephilim Agenda
Walking the Red Planet: ’Mars 500’ landing simulation (Video)
Astronauts to be sent to the far side of the moon for first time in 40 years in pre-Mars mission
Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars
New evidence that Mars may have once had an Earthlike atmosphere
Antarctica Experiment Discovers Puzzling Space Ray Pattern
Latest News from our Front Page
Norwegian school brutally kicks out students, reopens as immigration center
A failing Norwegian school has brutally kicked out all of the students living there with just a few days notice to find somewhere else to live and study. It has now reopened as a reception center for immigrants.
The school, called Waldorf, is in the RĂ¸yken municipality of Buskerud County. It had been failing for sometime, and was officially declared bankrupt ...
Why not hear about Islam from a woman who grew up as Muslim in the ME?
Youtube description: She says: "I have reached a boiling point with these lies about Islam! Please share it, don't let me waste my breath....go to voxpopulinews.net for a translation of the ISIS website along with other great articles and podcasts!"
Funniest Moments of Illegal Migrants
- Beginner picture: Macedonia
- Disastrous migrant: Hungary-Serbia border (Serbian side)
- Grateful migrants: Hungary (Budapest)
- Border Control: Austria (Slovenian border)
- Migrant actor: Hungary-Serbia border (Serbian side)
- Intelligent migrants: Hungary-Serbia border (Hungarian arie) (The fence was built from the border 2,5meters, in Hungarian area)
- Idiot migrant: Hungary (Bicske)
Pew: 65% say the news media has a 'negative effect' on America
More than six in 10 Americans believe that the news media, followed closely by Hollywood, has a negative effect on the country, according to a new survey.
An extensive new Pew Research Center survey finds that 65 percent believe that the news media "has a negative effect on the way things are going in the country." Some 56 percent said the ...
Hostage situation reported in N. France, several suffer 'gunshot wounds''
A hostage situation has been reported in the northern French town of Roubaix near the Belgian border. Several people have sustained gunshot wounds, Reuters reported citing medical sources.
The area has been cordoned off by police, RTL reported, adding that gunfire can be heard.
La Voix du Nord newspaper says the hostage takers are armed with Kalashnikovs. Witnesses told the daily that ...
|More News » |