BioSuit: The Future of Space Gear
2013-12-12 0:00

By Steve Annear | Boston

New materials and designs could allow outer-space travelers to move more freely.


One day, moving around in outer space—and walking on Mars—could become a whole lot more comfortable for astronauts, thanks to the innovative techniques being developed by an aeronautics professor at MIT.

“The BioSuit—the one that gets a lot of media coverage—is a concept no one has seen before, and we have been working on it for a long time,” said Dava Newman, professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT. “We are doing great research. If we were fully funded, we could have it working in two years, no problem.”

Newman has been working on various types of wearable outer-space gear with MIT students and designers from around the world for more than a decade, focusing specifically on three forms of aeronautics spacesuits: The BioSuit, an exercise suit, and a layer of material that can be worn inside of the typical bulky space gear that NASA astronauts have grown accustomed to during space missions.

Newman made waves at a recent TED talk in San Francisco last week, TED Women, where she showed off examples of the work she has been doing for the last 12 years.

According to Newman, the BioSuit, which captured the audience’s attention, is an example of “new wearable technologies” being developed at MIT’s Extra-Vehicular Activity Lab (EVA). The suit system could one day provide life support for astronauts in an atmosphere like the one on Mars by relying on the “mechanical counter-pressure” built into the suit, where pressure is applied to the entire body through a tight-fitting material. The suit is also equipped with a helmet to cover an explorer’s head.

“You have to apply a third of an atmosphere to keep someone alive in the vacuum of space. With polymers or stretchy elastic, you can get about 20 percent there, but we have to get to 30 percent to make it work. So now, using our active material, we have nailed the extra 10 percent so we can fully pressurize the suit,” said Newman. “When we go to another planet, we could definitely have a useable flight system going.”

[...]

Read the full article at: bostonmagazine.com



READ: The Iron Man cometh: US Army commissions ’TALOS’ suit with liquid armor

AND: Mars Explorers Face Huge Radiation Problem






Related Articles
Bulletproof business suit absorbs small-arms fire
Wetsuits To Deter Shark Attacks?
Nano-Suit Protects Bugs From Space-Like Vacuums
Paralyzed woman finishes marathon in bionic suit
NASA: Mars Manned Mission Will Never Happen


Latest News from our Front Page

Swedish parliament removes Baroque artist's bare breasted painting for offending feminists and Muslims
2015-03-06 3:28
A nude painting named Juno, which was painted by baroque artist G E Schröder and has hung in the dining room of the Swedish Parliament for 30 years has been taken down for fear of offending the sensitivities of feminists and Muslim visitors, Swedish newspaper, The Local reported on Thursday. Explaining the ban on the baroque breasts, a source from the ...
White US children will be minorities by 2020 after immigrant 'baby boom', Census reveals
2015-03-05 19:50
This is the result of an ongoing trend of declining birth among white Americans and a baby boom among immigrant groups, as well as a surge in immigration. By the year 2020, 50.2percent of all children in the US are expected to be non-white, according to the Census. By 2044, whites will be outnumbered by minorities. The Census study, released ...
New Jersey Shopkeeper Hangs 'White History Month' Sign In Window
2015-03-05 18:08
A deli owner in Flemington, New Jersey, has angered many of his neighbors by posting a sign on his window that reads, "Celebrate Your White Heritage in March White History Month." Jim Boggess, who is the owner of Jimbo's Deli, says he put up the sign to remind everyone that they should be proud of their race and culture. "No matter what ...
The Viking ”Maine Penny” Mystery
2015-03-05 3:41
In 1957, during his second year of digging at the Goddard site; a large prehistoric Indian trade village in Penobscot Bay on the central Maine coast, local resident and amateur archaeologist Guy Mellgren found a small silver coin. The coin is later identified by experts as a Norse silver penny dating to the reign of Olaf Kyrre, king of Norway ...
The Sagas of the (Viking) Icelanders Shed Light on Golden Age
2015-03-05 3:40
The Sagas of the Icelanders have long been preserved as the most comprehensive specimen of the literary culture of the 13th and 14th centuries of Iceland. In writing these sagas, many attributes of the 10th and 11th centuries were conserved, particularly individual biographies, the history of family feuds, and the overall evolution of the one of the greatest settlements ...
More News »