Carbon fiber space suit
After all, no one has any experience in landing on Mars. NASA itself seems to be a bit confused about the design and testing of this new spacesuit. In order to develop aviation suits that can cope with the Mars expedition, NASA has publicly solicited ideas and suggestions for the selection of aviation suit materials. Now, RISD has designed a model suit for the aviation suit!
Led by RISD professor Michael Lye, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) staff and students designed a full-size, wearable model suit for NASA’s first landing on Mars. As Mercury News said, real aviation suits need to work under zero gravity, so they are expensive and cumbersome. The simulated aviation suits currently in use are small in size, fast in wear, uncomfortable and poorly ventilated. RISD’s improved spacesuit is made of carbon fiber composite and two types of nylon.
The set weighs about 45 pounds (about 135 pounds on Mars) and has 16 components. In order to accommodate all the people who wear it, the components can be replaced or resized. Andrzej Stewart, the project’s chief engineer, first tried on the air suit last week and was satisfied with the results. “It’s great to be able to put on a complete spacesuit and walk around,” Stewart said. “It makes me feel like an astronaut.” The new spacesuit is expected to be tested in NASA-funded Mars simulation missions in 2017. The kit will soon be sent to the University of Hawaii for Space Exploration Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission. The simulation results will be applied to create a practical kit for the first Mars exploration. “Our goal is to simulate the Mars scene as much as possible to tell NASA what we have learned in the simulation and they can succeed in practice,” said Sheyna Gifford, chief medical and security officer for the mission. NASA hopes to complete its first Mars landing by around 2030.
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