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“When I grow up I’ll be an astronaut” – this phrase has become a symbol of an era that began with the space race between the leading countries of the world and ended unfulfilled dream for many of us. However, there are people on Earth who regularly spacewalks. And if today we have become commonplace in orbit that there is always someone who floats in weightlessness, once it was so exciting that millions of people could not take their eyes off the TV, watching with bated breath for the first vain attempts to master space.

Unfortunately, we were born too late to explore the Earth. Fortunately, we will be the first generation, which will begin with the development of other planets. In this article we will talk about clothes, without which it will not take any interplanetary flight, neither yield a reasonable man into space – about the future spacesuits.
Current spacesuits
EVA – an extremely hostile environment. If you happen to find yourself in a vacuum, hardly able to save you. For 15 seconds, you lose consciousness due to lack of oxygen. Blood boil, and then freeze due to lack of pressure. Tissues and organs expand. Sharp temperature drop will complete the job. Even if you manage to survive all of this, not the fact that the solar wind does not reward you with harmful radiation.

To protect against all of these factors, the astronauts use protective suits – suits. History of wardrobe space is pretty interesting, but in the past 30 years it was not so many important events. Much more exciting is what awaits us in the near future, especially considering the increasing pace of commercial flights and to take into account the planned mission.

Today Russian cosmonauts used spacesuits “Sokol KV-2” and “Orlan-MK” (for EVA), developed in 1970 and 1980 respectively. In 2014, the planned test “Orlan-MKS” whose design has undergone minor changes – the whole suit is almost the same as its predecessor. Today and always engaged in their production of “Enterprise” Star “named after academician GI Severin.” China, incidentally, decorates its astronauts (or taikonaut, to be precise) in costumes made based on the Soviet: the same “Falcon” and Feitian, presented in 2003 and 2008, respectively, and used in the missions “Shenzhou-5” and “Shenchzhou- 7 “. U.S., though deserving of respect for promising developments, true spacesuit 1994 and 1984: ACES (AdvancedCrewEscapeUnit) and EMU (ExtravehicularMobilityUnit).

Americans can understand. Due to problems with funding the space program was severely curtailed. Perhaps if it were not so, they would have been on Venus (this mission really planned). As for the success of Roscosmos, besides the above tests, “Orlan-MKS”, nothing more can be said. If spacesuits future in Russia do, do underground.




NASA plans to return to the moon and is actively developing new suits, as they will be the new Armstrong and Aldrin, who will leave footprints on the moon sand. However, unlike the program “Apollo 11”, new costumes should give astronauts more options. For example, freedom of movement, which would facilitate the work on the Moon, as well as protection from adhesive tape moondust.

But international partners through the European Space Agency and Roscosmos plans manned mission to Mars – what might indicate a 500-day experiment conducted a few years ago.Under the “Mars-500” Six members of the international crew (including Russians) spent 500 days locked up, simulating a trip to Mars. Perhaps in 2018 the flight will still take place. Here it is necessary to know that the main problem of such a long trip is the impact of radiation from which do not protect the suits nor the hull. Flying can be very unfavorable.

Note that for Roscosmos flight to Mars together with partners will develop a special suit.Under the “Mars-500” crew used a special version of a spacesuit “Orlan-E” (which means “experimental”). Constructors jokingly called his younger brother – he is almost identical to the rest of the “eagles”, but is four times lighter and the space walk on Mars has not yet come up. However, will form the basis of future Martian costume.

Also planning a trip to Mars a few billionaire philanthropists – Bas Lansdorp (project MarsOne, calculated on the colonization of Mars during 2011-2033 years) and Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX).


How much is a spacesuit? Model used by NASA, with all the gear, life support systems and equipment costing $ 12 million.”SPE” Star “” prefers not to publicize the cost of the suit, but there is talk of 9 million dollars.



What materials make suits? Let’s look at the example of EMU. If the first space suits made entirely of soft tissue, modern variants combine soft and hard components that provide support, portability and convenience (although the latter is still possible to argue). The material itself is a spacesuit in 13 layers: two layers of internal cooling, compressing the two layers, eight layers of thermal protection from micrometeorites and one outer layer. These layers include the following materials: knitted nylon, spandex, urethane nylon, dacron, neoprene nylon, mylar, gorteks, Kevlar (used to make bulletproof vests) and Nomex.

All layers are sewn and stitched together to become solid coating. Also, unlike the first spacesuits that were ligated individually for each astronaut, modern EMU components have different sizes to suit all.

EMU spacesuit consists of these parts: MAG (urine collects astronaut), LCVG (removes excess heat during walks through space), EEH (provides communication and bioinstrumentami), CCA (microphone and headphones for communication), LTA (lower part of the suit, trousers , knee pads, boots and greaves), HUT (upper part of the costume, hard shell made of fiberglass, which supports several structures: the hands, torso, helmet, backpack life support and control module), sleeves, two pairs of gloves (internal and external), helmet, EVA (protection against bright sunlight), IDB (vnutrikostyumny bag for drinking), PLSS (primary life support system: oxygen, energy, carbon dioxide cleaning, cooling, water, radio, and warning system), SOP (spare oxygen), DCM (module control PLSS).

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Poor forgotten old

In 2012, NASA spacesuit presented a new type of Z-1. Made in the image of the spacesuit Buzz Lightyear of “Toy Story”, this suit should enter production in 2015 and will have a nice set of features and functionality.

First, in the form of a bubble helmet provides huge compared to previous versions of sight.Yes, it is not canonical “motorcycle helmet”, but security, the assurances of experts will be at the highest level. New design shoulder-piece suit provides greater freedom of movement of hands. Rear hatch is located in the suit, which crawls through the astronaut when worn. That is rather a suit, like transportation, take a passenger, not the astronaut puts on all this.

Second, and very important “second”, Z-1 spacesuit will be equally suitable for both EVA and for movement on the planet’s surface (as opposed to all that is ISS).

Third, thanks to the latest developments fall significantly once again the need to download the suit with lithium hydroxide canisters, absorbing carbon dioxide exhaled by man. Well, Z-1 would be an excellent replacement EMU and an old suit for retirement.



Late last year, it was announced that NASA tests new lightweight suit as Z-1 proved to be too cumbersome. Step back? And second: a new suit would be a modified version of an orange suit ACES, developed back in the 1960s. Spacesuit team will use the spacecraft “Orion”, which will catch the asteroids for sample collection and analysis. Unfortunately, the space agency is not lifts the veil of secrecy over this mysterious mission, so know nothing about it so much.

Two steps back? Here’s a third: the shuttle “Orion”, in fact, is an updated module “Apollo.”And here all the elements of the puzzle are added together: inside the rocket module “Orion” too little space to turn around there could be in a spacesuit, or EMU type Z-1. Moreover, the new suit is versatile and designed to be used both inside and outside. NASA representatives themselves particularly emphasize such pluses new suit as low cost of production and the availability of ready-made astronaut life support systems in a new suit. However, there is strong hope that the Z-1, and after him, and the recently announced Z-2 will still be used, but in other missions.


Orange hue was selected for ACES suits for safety reasons.This is one of the most vibrant colors, both at sea and in space.Find and save the lost astronaut would be easier.



“Second Skin”

During the flight, astronaut in space spine drawn by seven centimeters. This leads to a terrible pain in the back, which, of course, causing concern among space agencies. Especially for the European Space Agency, German engineers developed a tight-fitting suit Skinsuit, which is sewn from bi elastic fabric of polyurethane fibers. Costume tightly compresses the body from shoulders to feet, simulating normal pressure. Flight tests of the costume made of spandex, scheduled for 2015. However, some engineers in their design went even further.

Most recently, the best researcher in the world of high school (according to QS) – MIT – Deva Newman introduced a new suit, on which she worked for over ten years. He called Biosuit and, according to many, could revolutionize space exploration by humans.

Fitting suit astronauts provides greater mobility and prevents injury (“shoulders” astronauts – 25 operations due to injuries from heavy spacesuits). The main motive of Newman was that women below a certain growth could not use the EMU, as you just do not do these little suits.For the most important fact is the Devas because tall she is no different. But there are other motives.



First, modern suits weigh about 100 kilograms. Yes, they are intended for use in weightlessness, but have to mess with them. Secondly, the space itself is not empty. In space, also has gas and to stabilize the pressure inside and outside the suit “inflated”, even more complicating human movement. Biosuit is a tightly woven fabric tightness polymers and active materials – nickel-titanium alloy, so alone puts pressure on human tissue, preventing its expansion and remaining resilient and elastic.

Also, since this suit is divided into independent sections, in case of a puncture one of the astronaut will have time to impose “bandage”. Current spacesuits such can not: then cracked cracked depressurization occurs across the width of the garment. However, the Devas are certain problems with the helmet, so she inventor recognizes that, like it or not, most likely, we will see a symbiosis of EMU and Biosuit. A compromise solution would be to leave the lower part of the helmet Biosuit and EMU. This will provide the necessary mobility and astronaut proven safety helmet. Prior to the first flight to Mars, there is still time – and the ability to create something new.




As for filling the space suits, the scientists plan to turn serious future astronauts walking in the laboratory. Team scientist Patrick McGuire of Chicago is developing a laptop computer to the suit, which can independently (or almost independently – with the help of artificial intelligence algorithms based on neural networks) to conduct a series of analyzes: evaluation of the landscape to the microscopic structure of stones. This smart suit is preparing to fly to Mars and successfully tested in the semi-arid regions of Spain and was featured on the lichen on the stone plaque. Into the Wild any such Mars can be an invaluable assistant.

Of course, the only astronaut costume modern developments are not limited. Era of space travel is declared open – and who knows, maybe that you enter the number of the first space tourists. In January and successfully passed the third test flight is very impressive spaceship Space Ship Two, which is engaged in the creation of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson and personally. It seems that it is “virgin galaxy” is likely to become the first company providing elegant excursion into orbit, and maybe more.



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