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Rhode Island School Of Design Partners With NASA To Build The Best Suit For Mars

By Monica U Santos , Dec 09, 2016 03:59 AM EST
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A full-scale of wearable model suit for space designed for the first Mars landing underwent hours of testing Monday at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The said suit were designed by the students led by RISD professor Michael Lye. According to reliable sources, it is built it in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a mission simulation project in Hawaii.

Rhode Island School Of Design Partners With NASA To Build The Best Suit For Mars

As reported by ABC News, real space suits are designed to work in zero gravity, meaning they're too expensive and too heavy to use at the NASA-funded Mars simulation mission in Hawaii. The simulated space suits that are used instead wear out quickly and aren't all that comfortable. The suit weighs about 50 pounds and is made to be fully functional in a Mars simulation environment. They're small and provide poor ventilation.

The designers, according to ABC6 News, used the specifications from NASA and worked with scientists to try and improve upon current suit models. Specifically trying to make the design more, of course, suitable for Mars, comfortable, wearable and adjustable . "I definitely knew I was interested in functional apparel and this just seemed like an extreme end of that," said Erica Kim, an RISD student who worked on the project.

Andrzej Stewart was the chief engineering officer on Mars mission. His height is at 6 feet 2 and couldn't zip up the simulated suits. Because of this, he wore a hazmat suit instead, which he said was easier to wear but not very realistic. The entire crew saw a need for a better suit. A realistic suit is important, so crew members can really see what experiments they can do and what tools they can use while wearing it.

Suit Specifications For Mars

A space suit is a garment worn to keep a human alive in the harsh environment of outer space, vacuum and temperature extremes. Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure and are necessary for extravehicular activity work done outside spacecraft. Space suits have been worn for such work in Earth orbit, on the surface of the Moon and now on the Mars.

The space suit must perform several functions to allow its occupant to work safely and comfortably, inside or outside a spacecraft. It must provide the following: a stable internal pressure, mobility, supply of breathable oxygen and elimination of carbon dioxide, temperature regulation, a communication system and means for collecting and containing solid and liquid bodily waste.

 

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