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Next-Gen Spacesuits

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the new-and-improved dept.

NASA 123

ambermichelle writes "Outer space is a hostile environment for humans, characterized by an airless vacuum, thermal extremes, ionizing radiation and speeding micro meteoroids. Less well-known are the dangers posed by long-term exposure to microgravity or zero-g conditions, which over time severely saps the strength of astronauts' muscles and bones. Several researchers are working to develop new spacesuit designs that could help counteract these threats as well as avoid some of the familiar drawbacks of current spacesuit models such as bulk, weight and rigidity."

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Incentives for Space Travel (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910303)

When astronauts start looking like Samus Aran, with or without the power armor, I expect interest in space travel will increase dramatically.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (2, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910357)

Don't worry.

No one is ever going into space again.

There's really nothing there, anyways. Just the fantasies of exploration, by creatures unable to even understand themselves.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910957)

If you care about your karma, you should post nothing less than grandiose delusions about how the species must leave this mud ball. Not how fragile and short-lived we are, and how empty space is, and how pathetically small our reach into space has been so far.

Reality in Space Nutter threads is *not* welcome.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911027)

Really. What has mankind to offer the universe, but its appetites and its quest for novelty? Get your act together back home.

Everything out there is different, except you. Your essential problems are portable.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911245)

Sorry... modpoints expired today. This is one of the most insightful comments I have ever read on Slashdot.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (3, Informative)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911615)

Insightful? I hope you realize that Earth's orbit will be engulfed by the Sun in a few billion years. Not leaving the planet = extinction.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38911813)

why not welcome extinction with open arms ;)

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (1)

_4rp4n3t (1617415) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911827)

Because it's not in our nature to do so.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (1)

wickedskaman (1105337) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911915)

It could be one day. :)

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38911999)

Sheesh, this entire thread deserves a -1 Overly Pessimistic

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913045)

If a group of humans embraces death they are usually called a sekt and don't gather many followers

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (2)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912017)

"Because it's not in our nature to do so."

Take another look at your average voter and say that again with a straight face.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (1)

BlindRobin (768267) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912031)

my aren't we optimistic...

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (3, Interesting)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912503)

IMHO it's quite certain that mankind will fail. But that doesn't mean we should just give up and stop trying right now.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38913139)

I hope you realize that just as there were no humans a million years ago, there will be no humans a million years from now. It's a little thing called evolution. It didn't magically stop because you read garbage sci-fi as a kid. When the oil runs out, there won't be enough spare energy left over to fly a single weekly 747 across the ocean. Get over yourself. We possess neither the energy, nor the technology to do anything more than what we've done so far. It's over.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (1)

ericartman (955413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38914177)

Agreed. Now for the tinfoil hat. We seem to have lost our will to explore space, it's not just money, people hardly care about space travel anymore. Reminds me of the Mule in Asimov the Foundation Series. Remember all the SF stories of Aliens denying us the right to space? Why send ships to stop us when just a few mental tweaks will take care of it? My only hope is breaking the heliosphere is a tripwire like the obelisk in 2001. I know I gotta turn off the TV. But Momma thats where the fun is.

Re:Incentives for Space Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910395)

heh, yeah, without the suit... i too am a man and & + i get all excited when i think about women. right on. get bent.

they'll come in handy... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910309)

...when we resume manned space exploration. and develop a manned space vehicle to take us there again.

Re:they'll come in handy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910435)

Does the new suit recycle urine into drinking water, like the old ones did? I read this article with excitement, hoping for some good descriptions of the newer, state-of-the-art in pee-drinking. It doesn't say very much tho. I hope if these do come in handy, there will be plenty of need for this. The pee part, you know. Weeeeee!

Re:they'll come in handy... (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910631)

"Does the new suit recycle urine into drinking water,"

Yeah, that could be very useful for other environments than space, such as when global warming turns the earth into a desert.

"Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads" - Leit Kynes

Re:they'll come in handy... (3, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910685)

"Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads" - Leit Kynes

Yeah.... I bought the whole urine deal, but not the feces processing. I have pinched some loafs that I seriously doubt any technology, that is wearable, could process into anything useful.

How the fuck can the suit process corn? Corn chips just magically come out of a pocket?

Re:they'll come in handy... (4, Funny)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910863)

It's a lot easier if all you ever eat is the stuff that comes out of the thigh pads.

Re:they'll come in handy... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911137)

Isn't there diminishing returns at some point?

If all you ate was literally shit would you not starve to death?

Re:they'll come in handy... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38914123)

Yes of course; your digestive system extracts nutrients from what you eat. It's almost certainly not 100% efficient so you may well be able to get more out if you ingest it again (once it's been suitably processed to make it ingestible/palatable), but eventually you'll have removed all that you can remove. Once you reach that point eating it again won't do you any good.

Re:they'll come in handy... (3, Funny)

pnot (96038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911307)

"Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads" - Leit Kynes

Yeah.... I bought the whole urine deal, but not the feces processing. I have pinched some loafs that I seriously doubt any technology, that is wearable, could process into anything useful.

How the fuck can the suit process corn? Corn chips just magically come out of a pocket?

I always assumed that the "processing" just extracted water, leaving some kind of dessicated shit powder that gets dumped. Far more plausible than reprocessing shit into food, though scarcely comfortable or fragrant. In Dune the smell of a Fremen sietch is described as an assault on the nostrils... I think we can guess why.

Re:they'll come in handy... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911501)

Fetch me the Internapult!

frosty piss (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910341)

was contained in the bladder in one boot in the Apollo pressure-suit designs. I wonder what they'll do for these elastic suits.

Re:frosty piss (2)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911585)

Come on moderators, reward the man for managing an on-topic post on with that subject!

I'm wondering what they'll do too!

Who the heck for? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910343)

Certainly not for the U.S. Unless Newt becomes president, that is. Otherwise, I'm sure the Chinese will be very interested, until they can reverse engineer them and mass produce them in a mega factory for their program.

Re:Who the heck for? (4, Interesting)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910407)

The next generation vehicles are almost ready, and we have a lot of new things in launch vehicles happening. A lot of the old Space Shuttle facilities are being refitted, and a lot of work couldn't be done until we were done using these resources on the shuttle. The time to develop a suit isn't after the vehicle is ready and it's time to start planning missions. It's good that we are pushing the next generation of suits forward. The United States is still #1 in space technology, and are the only ones working on anything really groundbreaking.

Re:Who the heck for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910483)

Whatever. Both parties are going to talk out their asses about space while not letting NASA do anything that doesn't make them money from their contributors. This means no human space flights from home. Bipartisan bitches will blame the other party and fill the coffers of the same fucks that are killing them. Americans will still be too stupid to break from the two party system.
 
News at 11.

Re:Who the heck for? (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911951)

Thankfully Obama broke us of that weird insistance we had that [b]all[/b] space travel had to be done by a single monolithic government entity; we'll have private companies resupplying the space station within two years, and low orbit tourism within the decade. In the meantime, NASA has returned to pushing the envelope of bleeding-edge space technology, rather than spending the vast majority of its budget maintaining an over-engineered, under-preforming space dump-truck that was first built in the 70s.

Re:Who the heck for? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912641)

How did Obama have anything to do with any of that? SpaceX managed their first orbital launch in 2008 when Bush was still in office. SpaceShipOne hit space back in 2004, had been in full time development since 2001, and began initial planning way back in 1994 and the early days of Clinton. Obama was still a state legislator in 2004, and wasn't even in politics in 1994. Bush announced the cancellation of the Shuttle program, several years before Obama took office. Bush announced the replacement Ares launch system, derived from existing Shuttle parts, as a means to go to the Moon and Mars. Again, this was several years before Obama took office.

Bush's eight years are up, Obama is voted in, and what happens? The Ares launch system is cancelled, but now we have the Shuttle Launch System, which is going to take us to Mars. It's the same god damned thing! It just has a different name, and now its Obama's space program.

Re:Who the heck for? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38912665)

we are brainwashed from a very young age to believe that things that come out of the enterprise of common people somehow leaks credit to the ruler in charge at the moment.

it is all part of the ideology that sustains the state i.e. our overlords.

Move your calendar forward to this year (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912841)

Meanwhile back in reality even Iran is probably less than a year away from a manned space flight (they have tested an uncrewed vehicle) while the USA has nothing apart from some tiny commercial efforts that are going to fail before they have enough funding to get anything that can make it as far as the ISS - so much for number one.
There's nothing wrong with aiming to get back into that spot from way back in the pack but just sitting back and dreaming doesn't do it. It takes more effort than a bruised and bleeding NASA has been allowed to carry out.

the only ones working on anything really groundbreaking

It's a big world out there and NASA used to fund a lot of things wherever they were, and a lot of those groundbreaking things are now being funded by the countries in which they are based or other space agencies. The US military picked up the tab for some international former NASA stuff (eg. scramjet) but a lot of it has gone elsewhere.

Jewelry part of the ensemble? (2, Funny)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910387)

I'm sure her ear rings will be permitted.

Not the answer (4, Interesting)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910443)

I'm not sure what percentage of the time the crew would need to wear these suits to prevent atrophy. I am sure it will be more than they are willing to put up with.
We are going to have to come up with solutions on a much grander scale to change the environment, not adapt to it. It's how we humans have taken over the planet and how we will take over space. But we won't do it till we spend a lot more time on earth doing the grunt work (engineering and thinking) instead of spending billions on half baked manned missions to nowhere worthwhile.

Re:Not the answer (2)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910453)

Use centrifugal force at the space station level to implement actual gravity.

Re:Not the answer (3, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910533)

Use centrifugal force at the space station level to implement actual gravity.

Centripital. And the problem with that is, the structure you're standing in has the same sense of acceleration as the astronaut. It has to be dramatically stronger, and thus heavier, and therefore unworkable in orbit.

Re:Not the answer (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910651)

Can you explain that in more depth? Doesn't the structure have to be strong anyway to withstand takeoff pressures from Earth?

Re:Not the answer (3, Insightful)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910845)

Can you explain that in more depth? Doesn't the structure have to be strong anyway to withstand takeoff pressures from Earth?

Only if it's launched in one piece...

Re:Not the answer (0)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911111)

What's your point? If the space station is assembled in space, then the final structure will only have to be as strong as the equivalent structure on Earth would be (assuming the aim is 1 earth gravity, obviously). Are you worried about other things like pressure differential, radiation etc?

Re:Not the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38914549)

Current structures in orbit are *not* strong enough to stay intact under 1g. They would have to be a lot more massive than they currently are.

Re:Not the answer (3, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911401)

For one, the structure is launched in segments. For another, it only has to be strong along it's major axis for launch, but for centrifugal gravity, it must be strong radially from it's axis.

Re:Not the answer (1)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913163)

Why are you assuming that the module(s) couldn't be designed to have the same orientation when deployed as when launched? Skylab did.

Re:Not the answer (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913259)

Because if you rotate it that way to generate pseudogravity, you'd end up with tiny floor space and really tall ceilings. Not terribly useful. Skylab had a zero-G environment, so the distinction between floor, wall, and ceiling was unimportant.

Re:Not the answer (1)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913669)

Because if you rotate it that way to generate pseudogravity, you'd end up with tiny floor space and really tall ceilings

Skylab had a diameter of 24 feet, giving each "floor" a area of about 450 sq-ft. That's not huge, but it's as large as some apartments. So what if you have the equivalent of a large house spread out over 4-5 "floors"?

Re:Not the answer (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910749)

Centripital. And the problem with that is, the structure you're standing in has the same sense of acceleration as the astronaut. It has to be dramatically stronger, and thus heavier, and therefore unworkable in orbit.

I was under the impression that materials science has come quite a long way since the invention of bones.

Re:Not the answer (1, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910761)

You do know the difference between centripetal and centrifugal force, right? There's only a centripetal force acting on the astronaut's feet, but there's a centrifugal force acting on his whole body.

Centrifugal is the correct force for discussing gravity simulation.

Re:Not the answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38911879)

You do know the difference between centripetal and centrifugal force, right? There's only a centripetal force acting on the astronaut's
feet, but there's a centrifugal force acting on his whole body.

Pedantically, there's only a centripetal force acting on the astronaut's feet or there's a centrifugal force acting on his whole body. The former in an inertial reference frame, the latter in an accelerated (specifically, rotating with the station) frame.

Centrifugal is the correct force for discussing gravity simulation.

Definitely.

Re:Not the answer (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912653)

Do you really expect me to do coordinate substitution in my head while spinning around in an orbiting space station?

Re:Not the answer (1)

jamvger (2526832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913621)

Forces acting on the feet are transmitted to the rest of the body: we call this "standing up". This is true regardless of your frame of reference.

Centrifugal force is a pseudoforce, i.e. a force arising from the acceleration of a non-inertial frame of reference.

Gravity is also a pseudoforce [wikipedia.org] - this is the fundamental premise of General Relativity.

Re:Not the answer (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911287)

Actually, the far more likely solution is for us to adapt ourselves. Gene therapy to prevent bone loss or muscle atrophy is going to be utterly cheap compared to any solution that involves the design of the spaceship or spacesuit.

Re:Not the answer (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911513)

If you consider times scales, I don't think that is likely at all.
We pretty much know how to make a space wheel now. Gene manipulation to that degree is a hundred years away. My observation still stands - Humans tend to change their environment rather than adapt to it. Although I concede in 100 years that may change radically.

Re:Not the answer (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911551)

Well yes, it was pretty much built in to my claim that having humans in space for long enough for this to matter is at least 100 years away. I have my fingers crossed to be proved wrong on that, but I won't be holding my breath.

Re:Not the answer (5, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911603)

But we won't do it till we spend a lot more time on earth doing the grunt work (engineering and thinking) instead of spending billions on half baked manned missions to nowhere worthwhile.

While I agree to a point, you actually have to eventually do these things in order to see how they work.

Consider Apollo. We didn't just fire up the ol' Saturn V and head to the Moon. You're right that there was lots of design and testing done on Earth. But eventually we flew Apollo 7 [wikipedia.org] in orbit around Earth in order to test the CSM. We flew around the Moon on Apollo 8 [wikipedia.org] to test those procedures (as well as beat them Rooskis to the Moon). Apollo 9 [wikipedia.org] tested the LEM and the extraction procedures in Earth orbit and Apollo 10 [wikipedia.org] tested them in Lunar orbit (as an aside, I have to admit that if I was on the Apollo 10 mission and everything was working out, I'd be tempted to yell "Fuck you, Neil!" into my radio and land on the Moon. What's NASA gonna do?) Not to mention the various unmanned launches before Apollo 7 [wikipedia.org] .

Were all those "half-baked" missions of the Apollo program a waste? Are you saying we should have just shot astronauts at the Moon until one of them made it?

Re:Not the answer (5, Informative)

Seraphim1982 (813899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911663)

(as an aside, I have to admit that if I was on the Apollo 10 mission and everything was working out, I'd be tempted to yell "Fuck you, Neil!" into my radio and land on the Moon. What's NASA gonna do?)

Watch as you die on the moon because the ascent stage lacked the fuel needed to return the Lunar Module to the Command Module from the surface of the moon.

Re:Not the answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38911815)

In addition, they were collecting gravitational data needed for a clean approach -- I'm not certain, but I'm under the impression they did not process the data in real-time, so it would have been quite risky to try a landing with the old (less accurate) data.

Re:Not the answer (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912419)

Good answer--didn't know that. I assume I would have if I had been on the Apollo 10 mission.

Re:Not the answer (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38914233)

(as an aside, I have to admit that if I was on the Apollo 10 mission and everything was working out, I'd be tempted to yell "Fuck you, Neil!" into my radio and land on the Moon. What's NASA gonna do?) Watch as you die on the moon because the ascent stage lacked the fuel needed to return the Lunar Module to the Command Module from the surface of the moon.

What a place to die, though.

Re:Not the answer (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913869)

Consider Apollo. We didn't just fire up the ol' Saturn V and head to the Moon. [Listing of pre-landing testing snipped]

And the missions you list are just the final testing of Apollo... You also have to consider the basic research and engineering done in the Gemini program. Like the development of rendezvous techniques, flight control techniques, mission design and analysis techniques, etc... etc... Apollo gets all the glory, but a great deal of the real world (as opposed to the ivory tower of the labs and simulators) grunt work was done by Gemini.
 

(as an aside, I have to admit that if I was on the Apollo 10 mission and everything was working out, I'd be tempted to yell "Fuck you, Neil!" into my radio and land on the Moon. What's NASA gonna do?)

Watch as you die... The Apollo 10 LM was considerably overweight. The ascent stage was only partially fueled in order to keep the total vehicle weight within performance limits.
 
It's also worth noting that the Apollo testing schedule was greatly compressed and accelerated due to schedule pressure.
 

Are you saying we should have just shot astronauts at the Moon until one of them made it?

Sadly, there's a lot of people who seem to think that unless you're 'boldly going', you're wasting money and time.

Re:Not the answer (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913757)

But we won't do it till we spend a lot more time on earth doing the grunt work (engineering and thinking) instead of spending billions on half baked manned missions to nowhere worthwhile.

Grunt work in the labs and simulators is nothing but an exercise in intellectual masturbation unless and until you go out into the real world and actually see how things work. You don't learn without actually doing.

again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910461)

So the next generation spacesuit is a reworked version of the early 1970s space mobility suit design?
I suppose any patents must have expired.

Less well known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910499)

I've been hearing about the deleterious effects of weightlessness since I was 5, and that was before Apollo 11.

Egad! It's the 1950's!!! (2, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910595)

A bubble helmet... I can't believe she's wearing a bubble helmet.

Re:Egad! It's the 1950's!!! (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910733)

It's like the 1980's [wikipedia.org] all over again!

Re:Egad! It's the 1950's!!! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912473)

Honey, does this spacesuit make me look fat?

Read about these before. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910603)

I had been watching some of the news and documentaries about the group doing the suits. They still had quite a few hurdles to overcome, as the squeeze suit had not been able to provide enough pressure to reach that critical 1/3rd of an atmosphere. The Article does not seem to indicate if they have tackled that, only "proven the technical feasibility", which sounds about where I heard they were last.

When I saw them plying a big length of rubber on the leg of someone, it looked like something ready to cut off someone's circulation if left on too long. It tripped a few skeptical alarms for me. Will these have to be custom fitted? What happens if someone gains or loses weight(ie: mass)? Will using them for any length of time be uncomfortable or dangerous to people? They seem pretty happy to wander around in public wearing what appears to be a prototype. It just worries me that it might be a lot of hot air.

The use of Gyros sounds a bit odd, perhaps I am not quite sure of the process in which bones lose density. I would have thought the loss of bone mass is from the lack of gravity bones are subjected to in the first place, not a lack of resistance to movement. Gravity pulls mostly uniformly on people, Gyros probably won't help too much for putting resistance on someone's spine or other bones in the center of one's mass. It might help some for muscle loss though. Has NASA agreed to ship some of these up to the ISS for some testing?

Its a shame without shuttle like services we might not be able to do too much testing of the technologies we want to use to survive the trip, live on, and return from Mars. There are many that would be a great help.

Re:Read about these before. (2)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910717)

When I saw them plying a big length of rubber on the leg of someone, it looked like something ready to cut off someone's circulation if left on too long.

I'm guessing that's because there was an additional 1 atmosphere of pressure on it...

Will using them for any length of time be uncomfortable or dangerous to people?

Since the point is to make them less uncomfortable and dangerous than existing suits, I'd posit that the answer will be "no, or they'll go out of business."

The use of Gyros sounds a bit odd, perhaps I am not quite sure of the process in which bones lose density.

Nobody is quite sure of the process by which bones lose density in microgravity. It's still kind of a mystery.

I would have thought the loss of bone mass is from the lack of gravity bones are subjected to in the first place, not a lack of resistance to movement.

That seems to be the case from experiments, but there hasn't been a method to provide continual resistance to movement before, just periodic exercise.

Gyros probably won't help too much for putting resistance on someone's spine or other bones in the center of one's mass.

It might, if the upper/lower limb gyros work opposite one another.

Has NASA agreed to ship some of these up to the ISS for some testing?

They'd probably want to see a fully-functional prototype first.

Re:Read about these before. (4, Informative)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910837)

Oh, and from the article that pic is from:

Bio-Suit is a space activity suit under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which as of 2006[update] consists of several lower leg prototypes. Bio-suit is custom fit to each wearer, using laser body scanning.

Re:Read about these before. (2)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912577)

So, like in the anime "Rocket Girls"?

Re:Read about these before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38913069)

Yep, IIRC the US astronauts in the episode with the space Shuttle even mention how their conventional pressurized space suits are inferior. :)

Also the currently airing Mouretsu Pirates [anidb.net] has a very similar space suit type (& is also quite realistic in its space flight representation).

Re:Read about these before. (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913101)

Thanks for the recommendation :) I will check that anime out :)

Re:Read about these before. (1)

coofercat (719737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913627)

Can the laser scanner work out that I've pretty much got three legs? ;-)

Re:Read about these before. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912853)

Will these have to be custom fitted?

Have you ever heard of a spacesuit that isn't?

Re:Read about these before. (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38914475)

The shuttle era suits were generic and a set was pulled from stock to fit each astronaut prior to the mission.

About those 'roids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910641)

"Outer space is a hostile environment for humans, characterized by [...] speeding micro meteoroids."

The one scariest part of it all and the suit doesn't address it in any way.

Re:About those 'roids... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911539)

It's hard to imagine how they could. Our current technology isn't close.

Nonsensical outdated perceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910707)

The worst things about space are 1. lack of oxygen, and 2. radiation.

Space is not "cold". Coldness would mean that the particles move slowly. Meaning that if your own particles move fast, and there are many collisions, you will lose that movement/heat.
But they don't. They move very fast. There are only so few of them, that on average, there is very little going on. So there simply aren't any collisions that you could lose heat to. You'd have to lose it via radiation. Which you do all the time anyway, unless clothes transform it back to heat.
And you're vastly over-inflating the number of micro-meteoroids.

Zero g has nothing to do with space suits. You need them on the moon as well. Zero g is more a space station problem, and the solution still is making the thing rotate (and large enough).

Is weight really an issue (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910789)

in low or zero g?

Re:Is weight really an issue (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910943)

Mass is. You've still got to push the inertia of those limbs around.

Airless Vacuum (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910861)

It isn't just for breakfast any more.

airless vacuum -- wet oceans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910877)

Is someone going to create a suit for a vacuum full of air? Or one for the wet oceans? Oh, wait...

The barrier is too high, MAN must adapt (3, Informative)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911087)

Unfortunately it looks like the human species (and maybe most multicellular animals!) is just not suited for long duration space flight and maybe even habitation of other (lesser gravity) worlds.

http://io9.com/5881355/microgravity-screws-us-up-at-a-cellular-level [io9.com]

If this turns out to be true (I know they are using fruit flies but Drosphilia are a good proxy for humans for many things) then we're going to have very serious problems in doing anything other than "plant the flag" style missions. At what point is there "enough" gravity to allow the proper development of a human fetus? Half a gravity? A third? (Mars). A sixth? (the moon). That's why probably the single most important next step for manned space flight is probably the addition of a large (capable of handling mice, preferably primates) centrifuge to the ISS. I recall that it was once meant to be part of it but was cancelled. WE NEED THESE QUESTIONS ANSWERED.

And if the news is bad and humans can't go through a complete life cycle in anything appreciably less than one gee? Then it's time to hack the genome and (possibly) create a new species! While we're at it, we might as add ability to withstand brief (1-2 minutes?) exposure to vacuum (I understand that oxygen comes out of your blood quickly and you can't hold your breath because your lungs will burst. So you pass out in seconds). Also, radiation hardening would be good (some animals like tardigrads can take thousands of times more exposure). The ability to hibernate would be great and I'm sure there are a lot more abilities we could wish for.

In short maybe Homo Astra (or something like that, I don't know Latin).

Otherwise our robots will conquer the universe without us (or at least until we can download our minds into them).

Re:The barrier is too high, MAN must adapt (1)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912039)

In short maybe Homo Astra (or something like that, I don't know Latin).

I'm leaning towards Abh, myself.

Re:The barrier is too high, MAN must adapt (1)

keiichi_no_hen (1221292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912469)

And I for one welcome our galactic blue elf overlords

Re:The barrier is too high, MAN must adapt (1)

loneDreamer (1502073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912365)

If you want ideas on that, the book Endymion by Dan Simmons had that kind of human in the plot.

Re:The barrier is too high, MAN must adapt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38913131)

It's possible to put centrifuges on planetary surfaces as well as in open space. It may not turn out to be the best solution, but if we ever had reason to do so we could start putting up rotating buildings on the moon and mars, with angled floors, so that at a certain radius from the axle you experience earthlike gravity.

Re:The barrier is too high, MAN must adapt (2)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913197)

Unfortunately it looks like the human species (and maybe most multicellular animals!) is just not suited for long duration space flight and maybe even habitation of other (lesser gravity) worlds.

The problem is, we've currently only got proper data for 1g and (effectively) 0g, and damn little for anything in between. What are the long-term effects at martian gravitation levels? Lunar? 0.1g? If the worst of the effects can be staved off by even 0.1g, we can relatively easily spin craft to achieve that. (1g is more difficult, because of the amount of mass and energy involved.) But first we need the data, as you can't extrapolate or interpolate a curve from just two datapoints...

Re:The barrier is too high, MAN must adapt (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#38914329)

I honestly think if the human race is going to attempt existing in microgravity, then the best way would be to evolve gradually by initially living in a 1G space station, and then for that space station to gradually reduce its rotational speed over the cource of a few centuries or even millenniums.

Meh (1)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911277)

Outer space is a hostile environment for humans, characterized by an airless vacuum, thermal extremes, ionizing radiation and speeding micro meteoroids.

Don't go there then.

Yes, subscriptions to my newsletter are available.

ohhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38911811)

please look like a sci fi comic please look like a sci fi comic ple....yessss!

Evolve (1)

v4vijayakumar (925568) | more than 2 years ago | (#38911871)

Another way is to evolve further; be sustainable to the space and and learn to fly.. Reminds me of this from a superman movie,

"Look- they need machines to fly!"

void (1)

znrt (2424692) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912525)

airless vacuum

wow, must be damn low on oxygen that vacuum out there!

Sound like weather in Europe, at the moment . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912535)

"Outer space is a hostile environment for humans, characterized by an airless vacuum, thermal extremes, ionizing radiation and speeding micro meteoroids."

Space Suit Vogue Designers should look at fashion trends in Europe right now . . . how are folks there dressing to survive the hostile environment outside theirs?

Less well-known are the dangers posed by long-term exposure to microgravity or zero-g conditions, which over time severely saps the strength of astronauts' muscles and bones.

Sound like they just need some couch potatoes as test subjects. Again, look to Europe for volunteers. During a cold spell, people would rather sit around on their fat, hairy asses, than go outside and freeze their fat, hairy asses.

Any volunteers to be a paid test subject? All you need to do is sit around for a long period of time, whilst wearing a new, trendy Space Suit.

Space activity suit (1)

jeti (105266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912549)

The idea of an unpressurized space suit is not entirely new. The Space activity suit [wikipedia.org] has been developed in the late 1960s and was able to prove the concept. I'm glad it's on the table again. I've seen videos showing someone wearing an SAS running on a treadmill in a big vacuum chamber. However, I can't find it on the net.

Re:Space activity suit (1)

jeti (105266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38912629)

I found a relevant video [youtube.com] . If you want to see the suit in action, jump to the 4:00 mark.

From the Department of Redundency Department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38914253)

Outer space is a hostile environment for humans, characterized by an airless vacuum...

Let me tell you about the last time I saw a non-airless vacuum...

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