Testing New Spacesuits In 1929 And 2015

NASA is currently working on designing new equipment for their Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), including (for the first time since 1981) a new spacesuit.


(Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit, or MACES)

Due to mission mass limitations, it is not possible to launch both a pressure suit and a space suit for each astronaut. Consequently, NASA is adapting an existing pressure suit called the Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit (MACES) so that it can also function as a space suit. The astronauts wear the basic pressure suit during launch and landing. For EVA, a Portable Life Support System (PLSS) is attached to the astronautís back, and a lightweight thermal management garment is donned over the pressure suit.

Astronauts wearing the MACES will be capable of performing short-duration EVAs that last about four hours. The PLSS is the first new space suit system developed by NASA since the Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit was introduced in 1981. The PLSS uses new several technology components such as a regenerative rapid cycle amine unit for carbon dioxide removal, a suit water membrane evaporator for thermal control, a variable oxygen pressure regulator, and lithium ion batteries for energy storage. The PLSS has been tested with a human metabolic simulator and a mockup space suit, and vacuum chamber tests with a human will begin in 2015.
(From Technology Development For Nasaís Asteroid Redirect Mission; emphasis mine)

It turns out that Otto Willi Gail provided extensive details for spacesuit testing in his exciting 1929 novel The Shot Into Infinity:


(Spacesuit testing circa 1929)

Korf opened the doors of the chamber built into the wall, entirely finished in rubber and provided with an airtight door.

"Two things (aside from cold which can be overcome) seem to make a stay in space impossible for human beings; the absence of pressure and the lack of air. I'm going to pump the air from this room, which really amounts to nothing more than a laboratory flask on a large scale, so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space."

With great excitement the visitors watched Korff take from the drawer a bundle, which he opened up.

"This is a suit made from rubberized leather, like a diving suit, and absolutely airtight. By means of a special air magazine so much air is constantly produced in the suit that there is a constant pressure of one atmosphere, regardless of the external pressure.

Suchinow silently slipped into the costume and allowed Korf to screw on the helmet with the oxygen chambers. Then he placed himself in the center of the chamber. In one of his leather-covered hands Korf placed a burning candle. Then he closed the door, through the glass window of which all the proceedings could be witnessed. They could clearly hear an electric bell in the chamber, which Korf switched on.

The pump began to work. The candle flickered and went out. The bell seemed to sound fainter and fainter, though the clapper kept on striking. korf shut off the pump.

"Now, except for weight and heat, the same conditions prevail in this chamber as in space. Yet Mr. Suchinow, with whom we cannot communicate at present, certainly feels alright."

Sam looked through the window, and laughed out loud. In fact Suchinow presented a very comical appearance. The suit had swelled to its fullest extent and had taken on the shape much like that of the favorite rubber dolls of festival times.
(Read more about Otto Willi Gail's spacesuit testing)

Gail refers to the suits as pneumatic suits; the phrase "space suit" was first used in 1931 by Golden Age scientifiction duo Nat Schachner and Leo Zagat (see space suit from The Emperor of the Stars).

Be sure to take a look at this amazing video showing an astronaut barely surviving NASA spacesuit testing in the 1960's.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/23/2015)

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 ")

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1936.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.' - Jack Williamson, 1933.

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...' - James Blish, 1957.

 

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

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

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.