6 Technologies NASA is Advancing to Send Humans to Mars

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Mars is an obvious source of inspiration for science fiction stories. It is familiar and well-studied, yet different and far enough away to compel otherworldly adventures. NASA has its sights on the Red Planet for many of the same reasons.

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FInal Frontier Design Awarded Multiple NASA Lunar xEMU Space Suit Development Contracts

Credit: Final Frontier Design

BROOKLYN, New York, June 16, 2020 (FFD PR) — Final Frontier Design (FFD) is pleased to announce the award of multiple contracts for components of NASA’s next generation xEMU Lunar space suit.

The xEMU Lunar space suit will be used in the Artemis mission, the first US planetary space mission since Apollo. The development awards include the Lunar xEMU space suit boot, hip, and waist joints, and will culminate with hardware deliveries to NASA in 2020.

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Power Spacesuit Gloves for Future Missions

Advanced spacesuit power glove. (Credit: COMEX, Agatha Médioni)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Spacewalks are a risky business and wearing a spacesuit that protects against the vacuum outside our atmosphere is cumbersome. This glove is a mockup concept for astronauts that adds extra functions to the five fingers.

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How Space Station Research is Helping NASA’s Plans to Explore the Moon and Beyond

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly undergoes ultrasound measurements for the Fluid Shifts experiment during his one-year mission. The investigation measures how much fluid shifts from the lower to the upper body and in or out of cells and blood vessels as well as the effect on vision and the eye. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — As part of the Artemis lunar exploration program, NASA plans to return astronauts to the Moon and use that experience to inform future human exploration of Mars. To safely and comfortably explore for days at a time on the surface of these celestial bodies, astronauts need suitable equipment and places to live. Almost 20 years of human habitation aboard the International Space Station and a growing body of research conducted there are contributing important insights into how to meet these needs for future lunar explorers.

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PoSSUM Completes First Commercial Gravity-offset EVA Spacesuit Test at CSA

EVA suit test (Credit: Project PoSSUM)

Project PoSSUM scientist-astronaut candidates complete first gravity-offset tests of the Final Frontier Design EVA space suit prototype with the collaboration of the Canadian Space Agency.

MONTREAL (Project PoSSUM PR) – A team of sixteen Project PoSSUM citizen-scientists recently completed a series of gravity-offset tests and evaluations of an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) space suit prototype at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) headquarters near Montreal, Quebec. The space suit was developed by Final Frontier Design of Brooklyn, NY and these series of tests mark the first gravity-offset tests of a commercial EVA space suit, an essential step towards its certification.

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Nobel-winning Lithium-ion Batteries Powering Space

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet put his battery-powered spacesuit to the ultimate test on Earth at NASA’s Johnson Space Center: all the air was pumped out from the Space Station Airlock Test Article to create a vacuum like he would encounter in outer space. (Credit: NASA–Bill Stafford)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s space power experts congratulate the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry, for their invention of lithium-ion batteries. These energy-dense, long-lasting and rechargeable batteries have revolutionised the modern world, found in everything from smartphones to laptops to cars. They have had the same revolutionary effect in space.

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Orion Suit Equipped to Expect the Unexpected on Artemis Missions

NASA is building the Orion Crew Survival System spacesuit to protect astronauts during launch, reentry and emergency situations during Artemis missions. (Credit NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — When astronauts are hours away from launching on Artemis missions to the Moon, they’ll put on a brightly colored orange spacesuit called the Orion Crew Survival System (OCSS) suit. It is designed for a custom fit and equipped with safety technology and mobility features to help protect astronauts on launch day, in emergency situations, high-risk parts of missions near the Moon, and during the high-speed return to Earth.

NASA is building the Orion Crew Survival System spacesuit to protect astronauts during launch, reentry and emergency situations during Artemis missions.

Many missions require two spacesuits – one worn outside a spacecraft during spacewalks that is designed as a self-contained personal spaceship, and another worn inside a spacecraft during high-risk parts of a mission, such as inside Orion during launch and reentry through Earth’s atmosphere. NASA is building both for Artemis missions. Drawing on six decades of spaceflight experience, NASA is developing its Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU, for moonwalks, and has reengineered elements of the crew survival suit worn on the space shuttle to enhance range of motion and improve safety for the astronauts who will wear it to get to the Moon and back to Earth.

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NASA Developing Next Generation Spacesuit Artemis Moon Program

Artist’s conception of astronaut in an advanced spacesuit working on the moon. (Credit; NASA)

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — At first glance, NASA’s new spacesuit that will be worn on Artemis missions might look like the suits that astronauts use for spacewalks outside the International Space Station today. However, 21st century moonwalkers will be able to accomplish much more complex tasks than their predecessors, thanks to strides in technological advances that started even before the Apollo program.

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ILC Dover Introduces Line of Adaptive Commercial Spacesuits

Astro™ EVA (R), and Sol™ LEA (L) spacesuits. (Credit: ILC Dover)

FREDERICA, Del., August 28, 2019 (ILC Dover PR) — Space. Vast and unknown. Commercial spaceflight might barely make a dent in the enigma with more visitors but ILC Dover, maker of the spacesuits that took the giant leap on the Moon in 1969, is ready. The company recently rolled out its first line of commercial spacesuits this month with the launch of Astro™, the EVA (Extravehicular Activity) spacesuit, and Sol™, the LEA (Launch, Entry and Abort) spacesuit.

“These suits mark the next generation for ILC Dover,” said CEO Fran DiNuzzo. “We were at the forefront during the first manned space missions and helped change the world. We’re excited to do it again as we go back to the Moon and on to Mars.”

Building a More Personalized Spacesuit

Beyond Boundaries™ is more than just a saying for ILC Dover; it’s the foundation. Its engineers recognize that innovation, curiosity and the drive for excellence are at the forefront of human endeavor.

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Collins Aerospace, ILC Dover Unveil Next Gen Space Suit

Prototype spacesuit (Credit: Collins Aerospace)
  • Companies funded and designed the suit system with NASA and commercial customer applications in mind
  • Suit system could be used for lunar surface missions in partial gravity, orbital space station missions in microgravity and future planetary missions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Collins Aerospace PR) – Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), joined with ILC Dover today [July 25] to unveil a Next Generation Space Suit system prototype designed for future missions. The unveiling took place at a United Technologies event on Capitol Hill featuring the company’s past, present and future contributions to manned space exploration as part of a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission.

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Final Frontier Design Receives NASA Funding to Develop Lunar Boot

NASA has selected Final Frontier Design of Brooklyn, NY, for funding to develop an advanced boot for astronauts to walk on the moon.

The award under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program is worth $125,000 over six months.

The Surface Space Suit Boot (SSSB) “leverages decades of Lunar boot development and includes an advanced ankle mobility joint, a unique closure system, next generation outer garment materials, and an advanced polymer that will withstand the harsh environment of the moon,” the company said in its proposal summary.

The proposal summary follows.

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Florida Tech, Embry Riddle to Collaborate on Spaceflight Research

A spacesuit is tested as part of the collaboration between Florida Tech and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. (Credit: Florida Tech)

Goal to Improve Human Performance on Flight Decks, in Cabins

MELBOURNE, FLA. (Florida Tech PR) — Florida Institute of Technology and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have announced a year-long collaboration on research involving spaceflight with the goal of improving human performance inside spacecraft.

The joint effort involves Florida Tech’s Human Spaceflight Lab, or HSF, directed by Ondrej Doule, and Embry-Riddle’s S.U.I.T. (Spacesuit Utilization of Innovative Technology) Lab, and its principal investigator, Ryan Kobrick.

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NASA Funds Final Frontier Design for Low-Cost Personal Life Support System

Spacewalker Kate Rubins works outside the International Space Station with the SpaceX Dragon space freighter just below her. (Credit: NASA TV)

Final Frontier Design (FFD) has been selected for NASA funding to develop a low-cost personal life support system for spacesuits that would use commercial off-the-shelf components and be discarded after use.

The space agency selected the Brooklyn-based company’s proposal for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 program. The contract is worth up to $125,000 for as long as 13 months.

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A Look Back at the Space Year That Was

Total solar eclipse photographed from NASA Armstrong’s Gulfstream III. (Credit: (NASA/Carla Thomas)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

I realize it’s a bit late, but here’s a look back at the major developments in space in 2017.

I know that I’m probably forgetting something, or several somethings or someones. Fortunately, I have eagle-eyed readers who really seem to enjoy telling me just how much I’ve screwed up. Some of them a little too much….

So, have at it!  Do your worst, eagle-eyed readers!

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Final Frontier Design Completes Testing & Validation of IVA Suit

IVA spacesuit in a “float” test. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, December 20, 2017 (FFD PR) – Final Frontier Design (FFD) completed 4 microgravity research flights on Zero Gravity Corporation’s (ZERO-G) Boeing 727, in November 2017, to evaluate and qualify their Intra Vehicular Activity (IVA) space suit for the dynamic environment of space flight.

The testing marks the culmination of a NASA Flight Opportunities Program cooperative agreement with FFD, and was supported by Integrated Spaceflight Services (ISS) of Boulder, Colorado. A team of 15 people from FFD and ISS assisted to safely execute the mission.

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