BioSuit Space Suit Vs. Tentacle Monsters

The BioSuit is a radical (and fashionable) redesign of the traditional bulky, Michelin Man-style spacesuit could revolutionize long-term space travel. When I saw this story making the rounds this week, I thought to myself "I'm sure I've seen this before." Sure enough, I checked my NextFest 2006 photo gallery - and there it was.


(Dava Newman with Biosuit at NextFest 2006)

Dava Newman, along with colleague Jeff Hoffman, students and design firm Trotti and Associates, have been at this project for seven years. The prototypes are not yet ready for space travel, but their intent is to be ready for Mars missions in the next ten years.

Why a new space suit design?

Traditional bulky spacesuits "do not afford the mobility and locomotion capability that astronauts need for partial gravity exploration missions. We really must design for greater mobility and enhanced human and robotic capability," Newman says.

Rather than being inflated, the suit relies on mechanical counter-pressure, which involves wrapping layers of material tightly around the body. Skintight but stretches with the body for freedom of movement - that's the trick.

Astronauts are not complainers, but if they were, they'd tell you how exhausting it is to work in a space suit. About 80 percent of the energy they exert is against the suit - to bend it.

The BioSuit will be better at dealing with punctures - wrap them with a bandage. BioSuits could also be engineered to vary in their resistance to astronaut movement, allowing them to exercise while in space.


(Space suits work better, but are less fashionable)

Space suits are highly recommended when fighting it out with tentacled space monsters. In his 1947 story The Disc-Men of Jupiter, Manly Wade Wellman provides a very early use of the word "space-suit:"

In the first place the pressure is considerable and the density is greater than that of the most thoroughly water-saturated air. Then there is a whole chemistry shop full of other elements in with the oxygen and hydrogen, even including some metallic vapors. You'd need a space suit to make any kind of a successful trip outdoors.

Pride of place in first use of "space-suit" goes to John W. Campbell for his 1932 story The Electronic Siege. Update: I found an earlier reference; see the entry for space suit from Schachner and Zagat's 1931 story The Emperor of the Stars. End update.

Update: See also this description (and picture!) of space suit testing from The Shot Into Infinity (1929) by Otto Willi Gail. End update.

Read more about the biosuit at MIT. Also, take a look at the dozen or so NextFext 2006 devices, stories and pictures - since they're obviously still news! Also, Winchell Chung has a terrific collection of space suit pictures at Project Rho.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/17/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.' - Jack Williamson, 1939.

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.' - Garrett P. Serviss, 1898.

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.' Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...' - FE Hardart, 1940.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy!

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'

Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'

Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Legal Profession Now Fairly Bristling With AI
'The virtual counsel appeared to be about forty-five years old and prosperous.'

Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim
'CIC uses [it] to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns...'

FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
'... hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Finches can't tell the difference.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.