Extraterrestrial travel is all the rage: Elon Musk’s SpaceX has pledged to put the first humans on Mars. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has his sights set on the moon. And NASA wants to speed up its plan to send astronauts back into deep space.
Dava Newman, an MIT astronautics professor and a former NASA deputy administrator, wants to develop the spacesuit that has it all.She’s been working for years on the BioSuit, a sleek spacesuit that can also protect astronauts in harsh extraterrestrial conditions.
Instead of pressurizing a balloon-esque jumpsuit, the BioSuit applies pressure directly to the skin, Newman told CNN. (That pressure is what will keep bodily fluids from going haywire in the thin Mars atmosphere). The BioSuit’s portable life support system is also squeezed into portable packaging, and the form-fitting design could allow far better mobility and comfort.
“The world’s smallest spacecraft, I call them, because you have to design all of the systems you need for the whole vehicle and shrink them around a person,” Newman said.
The design is still in the prototype phase, and there’s no guarantee it’ll make it to market.