The FAA has just approved Virgin Galactic Space Flights for Tourists so it’s not out of the question that a spacesuit currently being developed at MIT could be our key to exploring outer space as if it’s just another tourist attraction.
MIT professor Dava Newman has designed a new kind of space suit. It provides astronauts flexibility and greater degrees of freedom in movement. The BioSuit system has been developed for astronauts but its combination of fashion and functionality could also make it ideal for space tourists, or at least it’s fun to think about a bunch of travelers suiting up for a group adventure anyway.
Here are some features of the BioSuit:
- Unlike the unpressurized suit designed during the Apollo program, the BioSuit has elasticity.
- When in a pressurized atmosphere, it doesn’t overly-compress the person wearing the suit.
- In case of a puncture in the BioSut, there won’t be any threat; as one can easily patch it with a kind of high-tech Ace bandage.
- BioSuit will allow astronauts to move freely and quickly.
- BipSuit is very light; it weighs just a small fraction of the weight of a traditional, fully pressurized suit.
- BioSuit’s material and construction is much simpler than the traditional ones and best part is it would be significantly cheaper to produce.
Although all research on the suit so far shows that it is a workable and useful concept Prof. Newman’s team has not yet produced a prototype that could safely be tested by actual astronauts in outer space. A lack of funds is the problem but Newman says if he had that financial backing, he could have BioSuit working within two years, “no problem.”