Space Suits

by Paul Rubell

I attended NASA/Microsoft’s SpaceAppNYC yesterday. An eye-opening event.index

A NASA representative urged industry to develop new spacesuit designs. To paraphrase her: “We cannot only send military pilots into space. I need all of you to come with me to Mars. All kinds of people, all shapes and sizes.”

mars_2445397bCome along to Mars?

If we reach Mars by 2030, today’s 4th grade students (age 9) will be age 24, graduating from college, in career paths unheard of today.

Private companies and start-ups demonstrated and explained future product lines, their present goals, identified areas of difficulty, and dazzled the event’s would-be Mars travelers and audience.

The challenges of motility of limbs and joints (arms and elbows, for instance) is one hurdle to be overcome. EVAs of the future may be prolonged from today’s one hour duration to perhaps six hours. Anticipating this mission-critical fact, thermal insulation and perspiration wicking and capillary action are additional areas of technological innovation to be conquered.

Homeostasis of the suit’s interior environment during an entire EVA event is yet another challenge.

MIT-Media-Lab-300x297Fascinating work is taking place in New York, at MIT, and elsewhere.

Various technologies are already nearing beta production.

To be nine years old today!

The challenges of open robotic hardware licensing. Whether to open, or to close, that is the question.

Stay tuned for legal and business aspects of open source and closed source hardware, coming soon.

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