Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The MIT Suit

Dr. Dava Newman's team at MIT has done some fascinating work on counter-pressure suits funded by NASA's Institute of Advanced Concepts. At the ICES conference July 9-12 in Chicago, they (and everyone else) were surprised to see someone else show up with a completed suit. Perhaps as a reaction, Monday they released photos of their suit mockup. That is not a pressurised helmet, but it looks cool. There is no air line and no backpack; she must be very hot in there. They envision this suit being ready in 10 years.

Scott Horowitz promised that NASA will issure RFP's for a next generation suit this Summer and make a decision in 2008. NASA wants a single suit system for Low Earth Orbit Access, EVA and planetary EVA's. Current thinking envisions a soft pressure garment with removable outer layers. Like the Shuttle, that system could be in use for 25 years. If a better suit takes 10 years to develop. that may be too late. Dr. Newman's work is valuable and could use more funding.

This Friday July 20 is the anniversary of the first Moon landing. That day you will see a counter-pressure suit displayed in a setting far more suited to working lunar hardware.


Blogger alex kaplan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:46 PM  
Blogger alex kaplan said...

Is this suit have been designed to landing too? I mean for a man in outer space on earth otbit.

6:49 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

I can't speak for the MIT team, but a suit like this might be suitable for Low Earth Orbit access and return in case something went wrong with a spacecraft atmosphere. Without a backpack, it would rely on the ship's life support connections. It would not be used for the harsh enviroonment of EVA.

3:58 AM  
Blogger alex kaplan said...

Thank you

12:56 AM  
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7:02 PM  

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