Collins Aerospace, a private company contracted to create spacesuits for use outside the International Space Station (ISS), tested its suit aboard a commercial microgravity flight, reaching a milestone that allows engineers to move forward with a critical review of the design.
NASA has outsourced the design of new spacesuits in 2022 after spending 15 years trying to develop new suits itself. Collins Aerospace said the suit is lighter and has less volume than the “enhanced” extravehicular mobility units that current NASA astronauts use. It can be modified as missions change and accommodate a much wider range of body types much more easily than older suits based on decades-old designs.
During the test, the plane performed “roller coaster-like maneuvers” to induce weightlessness and allow someone wearing a prototype to see if it actually allows someone to move inside in these conditions. As shown in the video below, they tried things like going through doors in zero-G.
Collins Aerospace’s next test will place the suit in a vacuum chamber to see how it performs in the vacuum of space, while a test under 40 feet of water at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Texas will simulate microgravity for spacewalk training.
News Source : www.theverge.com