Watch NASA unveil two new prototype spacesuits
Watch NASA unveil two new prototype spacesuits
5:19

Watch NASA unveil two new prototype spacesuits

Science
Let's take a look at the spacesuits of the Artemis generation. [APPLAUSE] Is this the worst fashion show ever? NASA. I love you, but maybe it's worth bringing in a consultant next time you wanna show off your new threats. This week we got our first look at the next generation spacesuits that NASA astronauts will wear on their way to and on the moon. And they are nothing, if not patriotic. Let's call this NASA's Artemis line. Artemis being the name of NASA's current Lunar Exploration Program. This runway models sporting the prototype XEMU that stands for Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit. It's the spacesuit that will be worn by the first woman to walk on the moon. If and when NASA returns in 2024. I know looking at these suits, they don't look much different than the ones you see astronauts use on spacewalks these days. But they are way more advanced just ask the spacing engineer My job is to take a basketball shape it like a human, keep them alive in a harsh environment and give them mobility to do their job okay, let's start with mobility, I will admit when I first watched this I thought to myself really. They couldn't give her a ramp or something but nasa was obviously demonstrating the mobility here let's just say the astronauts of yesteryear didn't exactly have an easy time getting around the lunar surface. And you've probably seen those old videos of them hopping around that's not exactly energy efficient for someone spending hours doing physical labor in reduce gravity. So on these new suits, engineers used new joint bearings that allowed bending and rotating at the hips and increased bending at the knees. That means astronauts can actually walk on the moon. [MUSIC] Okay, maybe not that kind of moon walking, but still. And check out those kicks. Those are essentially hiking boots. Now look at that upper torso. Aside from this demonstration going on for an awkwardly long time, this is pretty cool. Those pieces around the shoulders rotate the full 360 degrees, giving her a lot more mobility with the arms. She can actually put her arms over her head. That's a big deal. Astronauts can't even do that right now. Someone asked if she can pick up rocks.>> She's going to show us how to pick up a rock. If she can handle it, and she can It's a heavy rock. This is difficult to do and a spaces. Not surprisingly, one of the most important new features is one you can't see. NASA learned from the Apollo program that one of the most dangerous parts of the moon is actually the soil. It's made up of these tiny glass like shards. So the Zika was designed without any zippers or cables to keep all that lunar dust out. And all the important components are sealed off. But maybe one of the coolest parts of the suit? It's modular. Parts can be swapped out for different missions in environments and NASA says that means this could be the suit that astronauts one day wear on Mars. Of course, these suits will all be custom fit. Astronauts will undergo full 3D body scans while they perform basic motions they do during a spacewalk. So NASA can size the suits for maximum comfort and mobility. This is the Orion survival system. This is the flight suit Artemis astronauts will wear on their way to and back from space. It's specifically designed to keep people alive inside a spacecraft. NASA says this is a complete redesign from head to toe from what astronauts wore on the shuttle missions. That includes a lighter and stronger helmet, improved communications, adaptable life support systems, and of course, better mobility. In case you're wondering, orange isn't just NASA's favorite color, they picked it to make astronauts easy to spot in the ocean. If that's ever needed. Again, every [INAUDIBLE] crew member gets their suit custom fit. Believe it or not, the [INAUDIBLE] spacesuits basically came off the shelf in sizes like small, medium and large, that became an issue not too long ago when NASA had to scrap what was supposed to be the first all-female spacewalk. Because they didn't have enough suit size for women on the International Space Station. NASA's chief subtly admitted, Yeah that was our bad. We as the Artimis generation are building space suites that will fit all of our astronauts. We want every person who dreams of going into space to be able to say to themselves But yes they have that opportunity. Of course these are prototypes, there's still a ton of testing to be done before human can actually wear one of these in space. But NASA says, it's committed to a sustainable human prescence on the moon, and given that just this week NASA took steps to support as many as ten artemis missions. Plus, the rocket core stage of the space launch system set to rollout in December. It's really exciting to see all these pieces come together. So tell me, what do you wanna know about NASA's plans for the future? Let me know in the comments. That's gonna do it for this week. I'm Andy Altman. I'll see you in the future. You can't get my left leg in front of me. [SOUND]

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