Space Suits

Contest Info

  • Started: 3/27/2007 06:00
  • Ended: 3/29/2007 06:00
  • Level: advanced
  • Entries: 11
  • Jackpot:
  • FN Advanced 1st Place $5
  • FN Advanced 2nd Place $3
  • FN Advanced 3rd Place $2
Space Suits
Contest Directions: NASA has designed new space suits to be used by astronauts on the moon mission. New suits are both low-maintenance and high-tech - astronauts can go on without taking bathroom breaks when they get high.
In this contest you are asked to show how the new space suits designed by NASA, any other organization, company, or person. Feel free to give them special brand and change spacesuit dimensions (for fat people, short and even for animals).

Contest Info

    • Started: 3/27/2007 06:00
    • Ended: 3/29/2007 06:00
    • Level: advanced
    • Entries: 11
    • Jackpot:
    • FN Advanced 1st Place $5
    • FN Advanced 2nd Place $3
    • FN Advanced 3rd Place $2
11 pictures
  • Mickey Mouse Astronaut in a Spacesuit

    Mickey Mouse Astronaut in a Spacesuit
  • Frog Astronaut

    Frog Astronaut
  • Albert Einstein the Astronaut

    Albert Einstein the Astronaut
  • Superman the NASA Astronaut on the Moon

    Superman the NASA Astronaut on the Moon
  • Orangutan Astronaut

    Orangutan Astronaut
  • Donkey Astronaut

    Donkey Astronaut
  • Red and Blue Astronaut Suit on the Moon

    Red and Blue Astronaut Suit on the Moon
  • Space Suit Design with Beer and Toilet

    Space Suit Design with Beer and Toilet
  • Squirrel Astronaut

    Squirrel Astronaut
  • Swiss Army Space Suit

    Swiss Army Space Suit
11 image entries
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Johnson Space Center laboratory is busy this time of the year. A group of NASA engineers are designing the new space suits to be used by the US astronauts on their missions to the moon and Mars. Looking back in history of space missions, it's interesting to note how the spacesuit design have evolved. It started with the robot like looking suits made with tinfoil and Mercury aluminum mix, and evolved into the bulky white suits of today which weigh 275 pounds. It's still early to know how exactly the new space suit design will look, like, but NASA engineers say they want them to be both low maintenance and high-tech. "There's a trade-off between mobility, low maintenance and hi-tech features of the suits," says Jeff Williams, one of the veteran US astronauts. The weight of 275 pounds in the modern American suits space wear is due to a lot of technology built into it which adds up to the bulky weight. Such suits are designed to be used for a long periods of time, and sometimes even from mission to mission, which requires a lot of maintenance. Russian space suits, on the other hand, require low maintenance simply because they are used only several times are disposed of later. Russians also tend to do "one size fits all" type of space wear, while Americans craft each suit to a particular astronaut. In the old days of Apollo missions the design of astronaut space suits was carried out on a table using slide rules, paper and plastic. Nowadays the design is mostly computer based using 3-D complex technology, which makes it faster, and cheaper. Advances in technology may allow to decrease the weight of all high tech gadgets built into the astronaut's "backpack". Low power is another key feature, which is a must, since any spark can lead to the devastating consequences inside of the oxygen rich space suit. Mobility is also very important. Jeff Williams say that those robot like jumps on the moon which everyone remembers were in fact due to the lack of mobility in the suit design. The director of the design lab said the price tag is not yet known on the new suits, but most likely they won't come cheap. Those are the space suits which will be a crucial part of the missions to the Moon and Mars in 2014 and they will be a part of history. The history of the spacesuit: It is understood that a special space uniform is required to withstand the vacuum conditions and SPE "Zvezda" took the task of designing the special uniform. During the first flights, astronauts were sent in rescue spacesuits SK-1, weighing just 30kg and equipped with automatic oxygen support in case of an emergency and so-called "positive buoyancy" in case, if landing on water takes place instead of landing on the ground. But for a spacewalk and active operations, principally different suits were required with more powerful life-support systems, heat regulation and protection from solar radiation and cosmic cold. The spacesuit "Berkut", in which the astronauts underwent training and did spacewalks in open space, was considerably different from the one, in which the astronauts flew on "Voskhod". An additional backup airtight jacket was embedded for increasing reliability. An upper coverall was made from multi-layered metallic cloth vacuum shield insulation. Per se, it was a thermos, consisting of several plastic film layers, covered with aluminum. The linings from the vacuum shield insulation were fitted in the gloves and boots. The outer uniform protected the astronaut both from probable mechanical damages of the airtight portion of spacesuit as well as tailored from very strong artificial cloths, which can withstand high and low temperatures. Gradually the spacesuit became heavy the life-support system also added weight. The life-support system was located in the backpack and consisted of another two 2-ltr oxygen cylinders apart from the ventilation system. The connecting pipe was fitted on the chassis of the backpack for filling the cylinders and a manometer for monitoring the pressure. In case of an adverse situation, a reserve oxygen system, which can be connected to a spacesuit using a hose, was made available in the airlock chamber. The total weight of the "off suit" was somewhere around 100 kg and during ground training, astronauts had to walk in a unique "walking style", supporting the hard portion of the spacesuit. But in a weightless state, the weight of the spacesuit did not play any significant role. The air pressure made much more noise filling the airtight capsule and making the spacesuit hard and inflexible. Astronauts had to overcome the resistance of their own uniform with force. Alexey Leonov recalled: "a 25 kg force was required to squeeze my hands into the gloves". Therefore, a special importance was given to their physical shape during the preparation for a flight. Astronauts had to run everyday or do ski jumping, strenuously practice gymnastics and weight lifting. The color of the spacesuit also changed: the spacesuit had become white instead of orange in order to better reflect the solar rays. The light filter appeared on the helmet, which protects from bright solar light. In short, the modern spacesuit is a real wonder of technology and according to the opinions of the designers "the machine is more complicated than a motor car".