NASA has never been on back foot when it comes to giving surprises. From supplying images of faraway galaxies to launching space shuttles to planets only heard of in sci-fi stories, NASA truly keeps us hoping for something awesome every day. And now NASA say it’s going to have one more surprise for us this fall, only this time it’s not a dwarf star or a black hole but a spacesuit for itself. Spacesuits have been crucial in all the space exploration missions and virtually the sole reason why we now have the ability to gaze into the far reaches of the galaxies. For a long time, almost for decades, the space suits never actually included style or aesthetic features. They were huge, bulky and perfectly made to serve the purpose. But now NASA says it has come up a new suit that will not just be loved by the astronauts navigating space but also by us down here on earth.
The evolution of the spacesuit
The evolution of the spacesuit from its inception has perfectly complimented our space traveling capabilities. In the beginning, the spacesuits looked no better than the high pressure suits worn by the underwater sea divers. But as the technology evolved and our quest for reaching farther beyond the edge of the atmosphere grew, so did the design of the spacesuits. At present the astronauts use an anthropomorphic spacesuit complete with systems that enable space walks and extra vehicular movement. But all the previous space suits had just one critical flaw; they were all just functional suits with no room for style. But now NASA seems to have come up with not just one, but three solutions.
Deriving inspiration from nature
If there is an environment that’s even worse than that of outer space, it is without a doubt the bottom of the ocean. And yet creatures survive in the depths and move as ever so freely as well. So the designers at NASA decided to borrow designs from these exotic creatures and have come up with the new design termed ‘Biomimicry’. The suit features hard scale like texture on the surface and well placed segmented pleats that offer mobility and support at the same time. The one extra feature of the new space suit is that it is wound with an electroluminescent that glows in the dark, enabling better visibility to other astronauts.
Remembering the past
Though the previous space suits may have been aesthetically deficient, they sure have given us plenty of memories to remember right from the Apollo missions to the recent ISS construction. So the designers decided not to ditch the suit altogether, and came up with this new design nicknamed ‘technology’. Embracing all the nostalgic design features of the previous suits, technology also includes some nifty new age technology as well. The suit has an electroluminescent patch on its front shaped like a ‘Y’ which serves the sole purpose of maintaining visual contact with the other astronauts. The suit also has exposed rotating bearing and collapsible pleats which allow unconstructed motion for the astronauts.
A suit for the common man
From selling real estate plots on other planets to organizing outer space flights to common people, the scientific community has been assuring us for quite a while that space travel for the common man will soon become a reality. So NASA decided it would be good idea to design spacesuits based on normal everyday clothing. And guess what? It turned out to be a brilliant idea. The suit with all its top notch functionalities has a rigid upper torso and a pleated bottom that allows the user to have extreme mobility. Also suit features contrast stitching at places where much more movements are expected to be employed. The suits may just be at the design stage now, but you can be sure that these will become a reality in no time.