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Fraser
2007-Jul-16, 05:29 PM
Current spacesuit designs are bulky and cumbersome to wear. That's because they put an entire atmosphere around the astronaut, keeping them safe from the vacuum and temperature extremes of space. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/07/16/sleek-spacesuit-designed/)

Spacemad
2007-Jul-16, 06:42 PM
Sounds like a fantastic idea & one that astronauts would gladly welcome with out-stretched arms! It would make their life in space much more comfortable.

Kullat Nunu
2007-Jul-17, 06:01 PM
To deal with the temperature extremes, astronauts could just put on and take off specially designed clothing.

Can they keep themselves cool using this suit? Human body produces a lot of heat and if radiation is the only way to transfer it they would fry (figuratively speaking).

transreality
2007-Jul-17, 11:51 PM
Something like that would have a lot of efficiency effcts in spacecraft design I imagine, would it allow smaller seats, airlocks, less cumbersome controls, etc.

Doctor Know
2007-Jul-18, 01:21 AM
Finally. A suit snug enough to help you distinguish the female form from the male one. ;) Hollywood will embrace it warmly.

transreality
2007-Jul-18, 02:21 AM
now, can we do the fishbowl helmet.

Jerry
2007-Jul-18, 04:18 PM
Can a suit with web-spinners/ejectors be far behind?

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-18, 04:48 PM
Is that a statue of a cat that they're sitting on?

Noclevername
2007-Jul-18, 05:30 PM
Can they keep themselves cool using this suit? Human body produces a lot of heat and if radiation is the only way to transfer it they would fry (figuratively speaking).

The proposed cooling mechanism would be sweat, the same one we use here on the ground.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_activity_suit

Spacemad
2007-Jul-18, 06:55 PM
I hadn't realised that these Space Activity Suits (SAS) had been around for such a long time. Nor did I know that NASA had actively participated in studies of these suits many years ago. The article in Wikipedia was quite an eye opener in that respect!

So, why haven't they progressed to the point of using them in space? If NASA studies date back to 1968 you would have expected that the development of new materials in the meantime would have made them common place by now.

Irishman
2007-Jul-18, 08:32 PM
The existing suits haven't changed in concept since Apollo. Some refinements, but mostly incremental changes along the way. This proposed type of suit is a dramatic change, and would require extensive development. The largest factor preventing this has been budgetary. Congress hasn't funded NASA to develop and implement new suits.

I note that the experimental space suit group at JSC is working with a hard suit, rather than soft suit.

Realize that space suits do more than just contain pressure. They regulate temperature, and provide protection from micrometeroids. They also provide breathing atmosphere. The soft suit technology may be able to regulate temperature via sweat wicking, but now you are using the whole body as essentially a sublimator. Ice soaking your suit? The Hard Upper Torso (HUT) on the current suit is mostly to protect against micrometeroids. Not just pressure loss, but putting a hole in your torso. The soft suit would need to do that job. (Kevlar anyone?) Consider how bulky a real bullet-proof vest is.

The mixed design concept has some merit. Improve flexibility and reduce resistance in the limbs, but maintain torso protection.

m1omg
2007-Jul-18, 09:28 PM
The existing suits haven't changed in concept since Apollo. Some refinements, but mostly incremental changes along the way. This proposed type of suit is a dramatic change, and would require extensive development. The largest factor preventing this has been budgetary. Congress hasn't funded NASA to develop and implement new suits.

I note that the experimental space suit group at JSC is working with a hard suit, rather than soft suit.

Realize that space suits do more than just contain pressure. They regulate temperature, and provide protection from micrometeroids. They also provide breathing atmosphere. The soft suit technology may be able to regulate temperature via sweat wicking, but now you are using the whole body as essentially a sublimator. Ice soaking your suit? The Hard Upper Torso (HUT) on the current suit is mostly to protect against micrometeroids. Not just pressure loss, but putting a hole in your torso. The soft suit would need to do that job. (Kevlar anyone?) Consider how bulky a real bullet-proof vest is.

The mixed design concept has some merit. Improve flexibility and reduce resistance in the limbs, but maintain torso protection.

There are no micrometeorities on Mars.
And read:
"To deal with the temperature extremes, astronauts could just put on and take off specially designed clothing."

transreality
2007-Jul-18, 11:22 PM
have any astronauts been hit by micrometeorites yet?

Grand_Lunar
2007-Jul-19, 11:58 AM
Not that I know of.

This would be neat to see. I like the hybrid idea; arms and legs in fabric, torso in standard stuff. That, it seems, gives good protection.

I also wonder if that since less atmosphere is used, will astronauts have a longer stay time?

An unrelated question: what do space suits use that allows astronauts to currenty be able to spend 8 hours in space? Can this system be used in underwater activity (not the big pool at NASA, mind you)?

markg85
2007-Jul-19, 02:44 PM
that suit looks good.. will sure turn up the heat for the men in space if they see that "flying" ;) perhaps something a little less tight is better :p

One Skunk Todd
2007-Jul-19, 06:22 PM
How do you keep the air from leaking out of the helmet? Seems like you'd need a pretty tight seal around your neck. And if your chest is constricted how hard is it to breathe?

Spacemad
2007-Jul-20, 02:36 PM
How do you keep the air from leaking out of the helmet? Seems like you'd need a pretty tight seal around your neck. And if your chest is constricted how hard is it to breathe?



The current seals they use on their helmets should suffice, they may possibly need a little modification but otherwise they should do.

The constriction you mention around the chest I don't think will make the users too uncomfortable. After all the idea is too make the pressure similar to what you would experience on Earth.

m1omg
2007-Jul-20, 02:42 PM
Not that I know of.

This would be neat to see. I like the hybrid idea; arms and legs in fabric, torso in standard stuff. That, it seems, gives good protection.

I also wonder if that since less atmosphere is used, will astronauts have a longer stay time?

An unrelated question: what do space suits use that allows astronauts to currenty be able to spend 8 hours in space? Can this system be used in underwater activity (not the big pool at NASA, mind you)?

AFAIK that systems exists, but is very rigid and uncomfortable and functional only to 300 m.
Rebreather and SCUBA is good enough.