MIT Slims Down the Space Suit

BioSuit is astronauts' sexy new get-up
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2007 1:05 PM CDT
MIT Slims Down the Space Suit
In this image made available Sunday July 22, 2007, by MIT, a female volunteer wears a prototype spandex and nylon BioSuit which is being developed by MIT to be used by astronauts. Instead of using the present gas pressurisation suits to protect astronauts from the vacuum of space, the new suit relies...   (Associated Press)

When NASA astronauts are suited up for space heroics they're more Marshmallow Man than Spider-Man, but that could change with a sleek new space suit designed by MIT aeronautics professor Dava Newman. The revolutionary BioSuit is lightweight and form-fitting, allowing physical feats not possible in the current bulky gear.

Space suits now use gas pressurization—a mini-version of Earth's atmosphere—to balance the vacuum pull of space. That requires bulk and almost 300 lbs. of equipment. Newman's suits create a pressurized environment with tight layers of patterned nylon and Spandex to form a skeleton-like shell. She hopes they'll be ready in a about 10 years, just about the time NASA plans to be sending people to Mars. (More fashion stories.)

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