Engineers from University of North Dakota are evaluating the spacesuit design at Kennedy. This suit will be used in the Mars manned mission in which astronauts will wear while exploring the surface of Mars. The suits will protect the astronauts inside and supply air and water. It will be flexible enough so that spaceship astronauts will be able to dig and take samples very easily.
-Pablo De Leon (a researcher) says:
“Suit’ is really kind of a misnomer. Containing a human being into anything is very complex, so we have a spacesuit which is really a miniaturised spacecraft, and it has to be built in a way that is mobile, fairly comfortable and lets you work. It’s really much more of a machine.”
De Leon and his team are calling the prototype suit as NDX-1. The suit focuses on to advance the state-of-the-art in spacesuit designs and engineering and try to provide solutions for tomorrow’s explorers as told by De Leon. It is developed to protect the astronauts from cold martial atmospheres and dust storms. The suits will help astronauts to drill the rocks easily.
Nasa has already developed two suits prototypes for the astronauts i.e. Prototype Exploration Suite (PXS), for use in low- and zero-gravity, and the Z-2, which is testing mobility technology for surface exploration of Mars. These suits focuses on the technology demonstrations for a planetary surface suit, improving suit fit and performance, and upgrades to the life support systems while minimising the amount of equipment required to keep the suit operational.
Good news for the engineers working on the NDX-1 is that Nasa has encouraged their effort as a statement from Jack Fox, chief of Kennedy’s science and technology projects division came that “We’re glad to open our doors to the NDX-1 team. Swamp Works is a one-of-a-kind facility, and we’re happy to help the team advance this technology that could ultimately benefit NASA and future explorers. ”
Source : NASA