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#26 2021-06-25 10:34:53

Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 885

Re: MIT Mars Bio Suit

Many new types of suit might be needed?

Spacesuit concerns briefly interrupt astronauts’ spacewalk … lar-power/

Some more on Space suits, the ESA and Russia also had ideas for Mars suits but it seems perhaps nothing serious but also some interesting ideas explored, China has suits for EVA on its space stations people within China linked to the space program also accounced a manned Mars missions.

China plans its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033 … 12509.html

NASA needs new spacesuits; here's what's being done about it … -about-it/
Dava Newman on what it would take to replace aging spacesuits

NASA’s EMU inventory is also low. Between the hard upper torsos, bottoms and life-support packs, there are about 11 or 12 suits that are flight operational, according to a 2017 inspector general report. Some of those suits remain on Earth for astronaut training and only a handful are kept at the space station.

Clément Balavoine designs space suits to keep Mars travellers healthy … n-fashion/

Balavoine proposes his company SpaceX adopts these space suits to prevent that from happening. The suits incorporate fabrics with electroactive fibres, which are currently used mainly in sport and for rehabilitation.
These fibres send tiny electric shocks to the wearer's muscles, which help keep them active and also revitalise them. The material could also be used with a health monitor to record movement and vital signs, control heat and also track the effect of the environment on the body.
To combat the effect on traveller's bones, Balavoine designed flexible protective sections for key areas, such as the spine, which work as an exoskeleton to provide extra support.

The Europeans and Russians took part in the Mars500 programme conducted by ESA and the Russian IBMP, with Roscosmos funding. ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight is undertaking Mars500 within its European Programme for Life and Physical Sciences (ELIPS) to prepare for future missions to the Moon and Mars.

How high can we climb before the lack of oxygen kills us?

One hears epic accounts of people surviving bullets to the brain, 10-story freefalls or months stranded at sea. But put a human anywhere in the known universe except for the thin shell of space that extends a couple of miles above or below sea level on Earth, and we perish within minutes. As strong and resilient as the human body seems in some situations, considered in the context of the cosmos as a whole, it's unnervingly fragile.

Many of the boundaries within which a typical human can survive have been fully established; the well-known "rule of threes" dictates how long we can forgo air, water and food (roughly three minutes, three days and three weeks, respectively). Other limits are more speculative, because people have seldom, if ever, tested them. For example, how long can you stay awake before you die? How high in altitude can you climb before suffocating? How much acceleration can your body withstand before it rips apart?

Experiments over the decades — some intentional, others accidental — have helped stake out the domain within which we, literally, live.

How much radiation can we absorb?

Radiation poses a long-term danger because it mutates DNA, rewriting the genetic code in ways that can lead to cancerous growth of cells. But how much radiation will strike you dead right away? According to Peter Caracappa, a nuclear engineer and radiation safety specialist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 5 and 6 Sieverts (Sv) over the course of a few minutes will shred up too many cells for your body to fix at once. "The longer the time period over which the dose is accumulated, the higher that range would be, since the body works to repair itself over that time as well," Caracappa told Life's Little Mysteries.

As a point of comparison, some workers at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant absorbed 0.4 to 1 Sv of radiation per hour while contending with the nuclear disaster last March. Although they survived in the short term, their lifetime cancer risk increased, scientists have said.

Even if one steers clear of nuclear disasters and supernova explosions, the natural background radiation we all experience on Earth (from sources like uranium in the soil, cosmic rays and medical devices) increases our chance of developing cancer in a given year by 0.025 percent, Caracappa said. This sets a bizarre upper limit on the human life span.

"An average person … receiving an average background radiation dose every year over 4,000 years, in the absence of all other influences, would be reasonably assured of contracting a radiation-induced cancer," Caracappa said. In short, even if we eventually manage to eradicate all disease and switch off the genetic commands that tell our bodies to age, tough luck: We will never live past age 4,000.

...the Dangers of Jupiters Moons? … e_features
The radiation level at the surface of Europa is equivalent to a dose of about 5400 mSv (540 rem) per day, an amount of radiation that would cause severe illness or death in human beings exposed for a single Earth-day (24 hours)

How much can we accelerate?

The rib cage protects our heart from a hard thump, but it's flimsy security against the kinds of jostling that technology has made possible today. Just how much acceleration can our organs tolerate?

NASA and military researchers have made strides in answering that question for the purposes of safe spacecraft and aircraft design. (You don't want astronauts blacking out during liftoff.) Lateral acceleration — jerking to the side — does a number on our insides because of the asymmetry of the forces. According to a recent article in Popular Science, 14 Gs of lateral acceleration can tear your organs loose from one another. Head-to-foot motion, meanwhile, plunges all the blood to the feet. Between 4 and 8 longitudinal Gs will knock you out. (A force of 1 G is the normal force of gravity we feel here on terra firma, while 14 Gs equals the pull of a planet 14 times as massive.)

Forward or backward acceleration appears to go easiest on the body, because they allow the head and heart to accelerate together. Military experiments in the 1940s and 1950s with a "human decelerator," essentially a rocket sled that zipped back and forth across Edwards Air Force base in California, suggest we can slow down at a rate of 45 Gs, or the equivalent of the gravity of 45 Earths, and still live to talk about it. At that rate, you slow from 630 miles per hour to 0 mph in fractions of a second over a few hundred feet. We probably turn into a bag of spare parts up around 50 Gs, researchers estimate. [What Would Happen If You Fell into a Black Hole?]

What environmental changes can we handle?

Individuals vary greatly in how well they tolerate departures from normal atmospheric conditions, whether these are changes in temperature, pressure or oxygen content of the air. Bounds of survival also depend on how slowly environmental changes set in, because the body can gradually adjust its oxygen usage and metabolism in response to external conditions. But some rough estimates of our breaking points can be made.

Most humans will suffer hyperthermia after 10 minutes in extremely humid, 140-degree-Fahrenheit (60-degrees-Celsius) heat. Death by cold is harder to delimit. A person usually expires when their body temperature drops to 70 degrees F (21 degrees C), but how long this takes to happen depends on how "used to the cold" a person is, and whether a mysterious, latent form of hibernation sets in, which has been known to happen. … vival.html
The boundaries of survival are better established for long-term comfort. According to a 1958 NASA report, people can live indefinitely in environments that range between roughly 40 degrees F and 95 degrees F (4 and 35 degrees C), if the latter temperature occurs at no more than 50 percent relative humidity. The maximum temperature pushes upward when it's less humid, because lower water content in the air makes it easier to sweat, and thus, keep cool.

Saturn's Moon Titan is cold
Titan’s surface are around minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the fact that Titan’s “bedrock” is ice, its surface is so cold (-180°C) that the ice is sufficiently strong and rigid to behave just like rock on Earth. Furthermore, Titan is the only moon with a dense atmosphere, having a surface pressure that is one and a half times that of Earth’s. The surface of Titan is one of the most Earthlike places in the solar system, albeit at vastly colder temperatures and with different chemistry, an astronaut under pressure, roughly the same pressure a person would feel swimming about 50 feet (15 meters) below the surface in theocean on Earth.

What Will We Wear on Mars? … -spacesuit

Amy Ross, an advanced spacesuit designer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, knows it’s only a matter of time before her services are required for a manned mission to Mars. And when that happens, she’ll be prepped and ready to go.

“My job is to make sure that we have a technology that’s available,” Ross says. “So when I’m called upon to build a suit for a Mars mission, even if I don’t have the full configuration on hand, I’ll have what you need to make it.

To produce a so-called “planetary exploration suit,” NASA will have to return to the drawing board. Neither the orange launch-and-entry “pumpkin suits” that astronauts wore inside the space shuttle nor the beefier EMUs used for zero-G jaunts outside the International Space Station will cut it on the Martian frontier. The first has only limited life support; the second isn’t designed for walking.


Human bodies need to be surrounded by the right amount of atmospheric pressure to survive. Too much, like in the deepest parts of the ocean, and your organs will collapse like an empty soda can. Too little, as in the case of high altitudes or in space, and water and fluids in the body will start to boil away. To combat this problem, NASA fills its suits with pressurized gas — think human-shaped airline cabins.

The problem with this method of pressurization, according to Dava Newman, a former deputy administrator at NASA and the Apollo professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, is that the suits wind up looking and feeling like rigid balloons or the Michelin Man. They encumber movement and quickly exhaust the wearer.

Most space suits are essentially mini spacecraft. Although typically just a few millimetres thick, the suits have to provide life support and protection against the vacuum, temperature extremes and micrometeorites of space. Without this protection, the drop in pressure would cause the body to swell up and lethal bubbles of nitrogen gas to form in the blood.
Suits that maintain a lower pressure, such as the 4.3 pounds per square inch (psi) of NASA's EMU, make it much easier to move and so are less tiring. This makes a huge difference when spacewalks can last up to eight hours. The downside is this also increases the time an astronaut needs to spend breathing pure oxygen to reduce the risk of gas bubbles forming in the blood. … nks-to-you
For its Mars suit, however, NASA is looking at much higher pressure designs such as the soft Z-2 and the hard-and-soft hybrid Mark III. These would effectively "dock" into the spacecraft or Mars base building, allowing the astronaut to enter but leaving the suits – and the irritating and potentially toxic Martian dust – outside.

European suit?

Fellow ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted an image of Andreas Mogensen wearing SkinSuit to which Andreas jokingly replied “I cannot believe you revealed the identity of SkinSuit man!”. In this blog entry Alexander Frechette, Medical Projects engineer for SkinSuit who works for Wyle Labs in the European Astronaut Centre’s Space Medicine Office in Cologne, Germany, introduces the project and answered a few questions to reveal everything about SkinSuit. … nsuit-man/
The SkinSuit is a skin-tight garment made to be worn inside the International Space Station and has been developed over a number of years to provide ‘loading’ in the head-to-foot direction, in effect recreating the load that gravity puts on all of us on Earth, but in weightlessness. The tight-fitting SkinSuit allows the simulated gravity-pull, called +Gz, to increase gradually from the shoulders to the feet to reproduce, as closely as possible, normal gravity. SkinSuit aims to counteract the stretching of the spine in space, which might be the cause of the lower back pain experienced by around half of astronauts in the early part of their missions. The ability to control spinal elongation in space might also help reduce the risk of post-flight injury to the spine’s intervertebral discs – commonly called a herniation or ‘slipped disk’ – which astronauts are at greater risk of experiencing when they return to Earth.

NASA’s Next Prototype Spacesuit Has a Brand New Look, and It’s All Thanks to You. … nks-to-you
There are many key advances to be found in the Z-2 suit when compared to the previous Z-1. The most significant is that the Z-1 had a soft upper torso and the Z-2 has a hard composite upper torso. This composite hard upper torso provides the much-needed long-term durability that a planetary Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit will require. The shoulder and hip joints differ significantly based on extensive evaluations performed during the last two years with the Z-1 to look at different ways of optimizing mobility of these complex joints. Lastly, the boots are much closer in nature to those that would be found on a suit ready for space, and the materials used on the Z-2 are compatible with a full-vacuum environment.
Besides the typical fit checks and mobility evaluations, NASA currently is planning a very comprehensive test campaign for the Z-2 suit. Engineers will conduct multiple vacuum chamber tests, including one series at full vacuum, mimicking the lack of atmosphere found in space. The suit will be tested at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, the huge indoor pool used to train astronauts to spacewalk. Further testing at a site at Johnson that imitates the rocky Martian surface  will help evaluate the suit's mobility, comfort and performance. Ultimately, all of these tests will guide engineers in designing the Z-3

Astronaut trials gravity-mimicking SkinSuit on ISS: Next-generation clothing inspired by Olympics could prevent backache in space … space.html
The clothing was worn by Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen on the International Space Station (ISS), who spent 10 days inside the laboratory...
The concept is the brainchild of aerospace engineer James Waldie of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
...'It was really exciting but also very humbling, as there are so many people that have dedicated so much effort to this success. To share their passion, and see it all come to fruition, has been amazing.'
SkinSuit has been developed in collaboration with scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kings College London and the European Space Agency.
The suit was manufactured by Italian firm Dainese, best known for producing motorbike leathers for racing.
Enjoying his first space flight, Esa astronaut Mogensen tested SkinSuit over two days as part of an Operational and Technical Evaluation.

Can the Spacesuit process chemicals from the thin air? A Mars orbiter run by the European Space Agency (ESA) has sniffed out two never-before-seen chemical signatures in the Red Planet's atmosphere.
The Trace Gas Orbiter, along with the failed Mars rover Schiaparelli, made up the 2016 launch of the ExoMars program, a partnership between ESA and Russia.

On the Chinese Space Station, China announced Improvements to the EVA spacesuit compared to the previous ones.
Feitian space suit -  is reported to have cost $US4.4 million, and weighs 120 kg (260 lb). The name Fei tiān literally and separately means "flying" and "sky" in Mandarin

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2021-06-25 10:49:10)


#27 2021-06-25 11:33:44

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,348

Re: MIT Mars Bio Suit

For Mars_B4_Moon re #26

Thank you for all the work you put into #26 and into many posts in recent (Earth) days.

SearchTerm:spacesuits lengthy report by Mars_B4_Moon on history and current status of space suit development

For Mars_B4_Moon ... It is impossible for you to have read more than a small fraction of the archive of the NewMars forum, although your discovery of older topics is remarkable, and comparable only to the work of SpaceNut.

Therefore it is understandable that your review is directed out and away from the forum, and includes nothing (that I could see) from the work done by many authors over 20 years.

RobertDyck is (possibly) worth a bit of your time, if you are curious to know what consensus might have been reached on habitat design prior to your return.

You could save all that reading by just asking RobertDyck for guidance on which posts to read.

There is no need for you to ask RobertDyck to repeat everything he has written previously.  He has repeated for others on several occasions.

Having said that, your report on space suits seems to contain much new material that is worth having available for future readers.



#28 2021-08-14 11:36:37

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,122

Re: MIT Mars Bio Suit


#29 2021-08-14 13:52:03

From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744

Re: MIT Mars Bio Suit

Interesting. But research into MCP suit has been fabric that can change from loose to tight elastic. Loose for ease of donning and doffing (putting on an taking off), then tight elastic to provide Mechanical Counter Pressure for protection from vacuum. The issue is NASA has increased pressure within spacesuits. Dr Paul Webb did the initial work on MCP suits in 1967, paper submitted for publication in December 1967, published in the April 1968 issue of the Journal of Aerospace Medicine. That initial prototype used 170mm mercury as suit pressure, which converts to 3.287 psi, rounding for significant figures 3.3 psi. The reason is NASA at that time intended to use that: 3.0 psi inside the Apollo Command Module, 3.3 psi in a spacesuit. Dr Webb was worried his suit would require bags of liquid silicone to spread force in armpits, as well as palm and back of hands. He built a prototype and a test subject work it in a vacuum chamber. The chamber he had access to in 1967 could simulate 50,000 feet, not complete vacuum. But his later work in 1970 and 1971 was tested in NASA's vacuum chamber which could achieve hard vacuum. He found liquid silicone bags were not needed for armpits or hands, although was required for genitals as well as the crack of the ass and trough of the lumbo-dorsal spine.

Mitch Clapp worked on an MCP glove in 1983, paper presented in January 1984. That glove was intended for use with the EMU spacesuit, the white spacesuit NASA used on Shuttle and currently uses on ISS. That suit uses 4.3 psi pure oxygen. Mitch Clapp found he did have to add the bags of liquid silicone for the palm and back of hand. Higher pressure causes major problems with MCP. The simple solution: use lower pressure.

An MCP suit cannot be worn with helmet and gloves off. The elastic fabric provides constant pressure all the time. Pressure on part of the body and not the rest causes blood flow problems. So an MCP suit has to be either all the way on, or all the way off. It can be partly on briefly during donning and doffing, but do not leave it part way on for any length of time. But that's Ok; the EMU suit is not worn inside a spacecraft either.

Research into smart fabrics that can change from loose to tight elastic is moot when you reduce pressure to 3.3 or 3.0 psi. At lower pressure, you can use a normal elastic fabric.

Note: the second generation MCP suit developed by Dr Paul Webb in 1970/'71 used an air bladder vest. That vest covered the chest and upper abdomen, with the air bladder connected by hose to the helmet. That ensured pressure in the lungs was exactly the same as pressure exerted to the chest and abdomen. That prevents any restriction to breathing. Navy rebreather rigs for divers include a "counter lung". That's some sort of air bladder than can accept exhaled breath. The vest of the MCP suit acts as the counter lung. As a person inhales, expanding chest and expanding stomach from the diaphragm squeezes air out of the vest, but that reduction of volume is exactly the same as increase of volume inside the lungs. Exhaling does the reverse. That constant volume means no restriction to breathing.

In an interview with Dr Dava Newman of M.I.T., she said designing an MCP suit for 20 kPa pressure is easy, designing for 30 kPa is hard. Converting: 20 kPa = 2.90 psi, 30 kPa = 4.35 psi. I think she said that because they're just round numbers. 3.0 psi = 20.68 kPa (design pressure of Apollo CM before Apollo 1 fire), and 4.3 psi = 29.647 kPa (pressure of EMU suit). Following the rule of Elon Musk, the best part is no part, we can eliminate need for smart fabric by dropping EMU suit pressure to 3.0 psi.


#30 2021-08-16 04:11:07

From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: MIT Mars Bio Suit

In his book 'How to Live on Mars', Zubrin made the point that elastic skin suits have to be precisely tailored to the contours of an individual body.  If you gain or lose weight, then they no longer fit properly.  He therefore suggested pneumatic suits.  Are these concerns 'true', 'false', or 'true, but exaggerated'?  My impression is that an elastic suit will be very much cheaper than a pneumatic.  But how flexible are they?  Do you need a new suit if you lose a few pounds?  Or will the fluid in your tissues simply redistribute to compensate?

Interested in space science, engineering and technology.


#31 2021-08-16 05:51:08

From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744

Re: MIT Mars Bio Suit

Small changes in body weight are compensated by elastic fabric of the suit and the fact the human body is soft. If you gain 50 pounds mass, then it's a problem. I'm 6-foot tall and a little over 200 pounds. For a small person, for example a woman with half my weight, then a change of half as much weight would be a problem.


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