Research Science Massachusetts

September 19, 2014 11:25 AM

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Research Science Massachusetts

MIT researchers have developed a new kind of spacesuit that is light in weight and more comfortable than conventional, bulky spacesuits. The BioSuit contains spring-like coils and makes it easier for astronauts to control their movements. In contrast to the current spacesuits that use a gas bubble to create pressure, the BioSuit applies pressure directly to astronauts' skin, said Dava Newman, an MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

The suit is pulled tight against astronauts' skin by the coils after heating. "With conventional spacesuits, you're essentially in a balloon of gas that's providing you with the necessary one-third of an atmosphere [of pressure,] to keep you alive in the vacuum of space" said Newman.

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