Thursday, October 21, 2004

Skintight Space Suits

Image: Application of full-body electrospun bio-suitLong ago, Larry Niven equipped all his Belters and Lunies with skinsuits, skin-tight space suits which protect the body from the vacuum of space. The biggest difference between these and the 300 pounds of NASA's current space suits is that they won't be filled with air. Since the suit is right on the skin, it doesn't need to be pressurized, just pressure tight. That means they are not only lighter, it is much easier to move and bend.

Now MIT and NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) have come up with a spray-on suit thatis similar in concept. Skin tight. An external cover is still needed for heating/cooling, but that need not be pressure tight. Now, about that Belter haircut...


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