If man someday should set his foot on Mars, he is can survive only in a special space suit. The trick is to provide the astronauts with oxygen, to protect him from the hostile environment and to give him maximum freedom of movement. NASA NDX-1 prototypes are ready.
The term “Suit” was actually completely misleading, Pablo De Leon finds. The scientists from the University of North Dakota has developed his project team a spacesuit astronauts might one day during a Mars exploration could wear. “So a space suit is so complex that it resembles a machine or a miniature spaceship,” stressed de Leon. It was just something completely different than to take a suit off the rack, to enter and close the zipper.
Test site with a fine layer of dust built up
For ten years, the engineers and designers build the human spaceflight laboratory of the University of North Dakota on their expertise in space suits. Now there are tailored to the hostile conditions on Mars, a preliminary prototype. The North Dakota experimental-1 (NDX-1) is the first planetary space suit, which arose at a University and not at NASA
The latest practice test for the NDX-1 took place on the site of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida known as the “Swamp Works” now. There, the scientists on a laboratory site have reconstructed the surface of the Moon and even Mars with a fine layer of dust on the floor. The requirements for the spacesuit are complex: he must protect its wearer from the cold, high-energy radiation and the dust storms on Mars, the supply of oxygen must function reliably and in all of this the astronaut as much mobility must have that he could collect for example rock samples from the Martian surface.
NASA tests its own suit prototype
In the case of NDX-1, which is made from lightweight materials, succeeded apparently so well, that the astronaut during his surface exploration on Mars can collect not only loose dust, but also were so flexible, that he could dig up small rocks.
NASA also tested other suit prototype, developed in our own laboratories at the Johnson Space Center. You are heavier, may protect the people even better, might be too much strenuous for the carrier.
Essential components may arise on-site in the 3D printer
Among these spacesuits developed by NASA next-generation, specifically designed for use on an external surface of the planet, the Z-2 suit. It consists of high-performance plastics, which are at the same time light and hard-wearing. In the areas of shoulders and waist, the suit can be adapted to different body shapes so that a suit for several astronauts can be made relatively easily fit during the mission.