1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Vote on NASA's Newest Spacesuit!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hobbsyoyo, Mar 27, 2014.

?

Which of the following space suites is your favorite?

  1. Biomimicry

    28.6%
  2. Technology

    28.6%
  3. Trends In Society

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Buzz Lightyear

    9.5%
  5. Apollo Moon Suites

    23.8%
  6. Current Space Suites

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Something Else

    9.5%
  1. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,958
    So NASA is building some new spacesuits for future Mars missions. They are still in the development stages, but they have decided that the spacesuits should incorporate some sort of glowing patches to allow the astronauts to be easily seen in shadow or in the dark and they have decided to let the general public vote on the design of the glowing patches they may use on the suits.

    Here's the link.

    Here are the three models:
    Biomimicry


    Technology


    Trends in Society


    Here is an older development model affectionately called the 'Buzz Lightyear' (this and the following 2 designs are not poll options in the NASA poll)



    I personally prefer the Technology style as it's very Tron-esque and therefore cool. However, I have to say that the new suites look kind of derpy overall. Call me old fashion but I prefer the looks of the good old moon suits with the red racing stripes (for visibility and astronaut identification).


    Here's the current (more or less) space suit design, though it isn't capable of operating on a planetary/asteroidal surface.


    However, those suites, while good for their time, were heavy and clunky as hell. These new suites are supposed to be much more flexible and (eventually) lighter weight. They also have one other major advantage - they are their own airlock. So instead of you putting on the suit and then getting in the airlock, these suits actually attach to the side of the spacecraft and are essentially 'hanging' off the side. You open a hatch on the back, slip inside, seal it up by closing the hatch and then detach from the spacecraft. This offers some major advantages as you don't have to bring the suit (and all the dust regolith on it) inside, you don't need an airlock or an airlock cylce and it's much, much, much easier to put on. As an aside - astronauts have actually hurt themselves while putting on or taking off the current space suits because they are so cumbersome.


    I'll put a poll up for this thread but if you follow the link, you can vote in the real NASA poll.

    We can also use this thread to talk about NASA's upcoming Asteroid mission, their lunar-orbiting mission (launches in 3 years), their development of their massive new rocket or their eventual plans for the space station and Mars missions.

    Massive new rocket (SLS)

    Oh and they are also working on bringing back the venerable F-1 engines from the Saturn V to use as strap-on boosters for the SLS, here's what it will look like:
     
  2. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,147
    Location:
    Spain
    It is pretty orrendous. Martians will be terrorised so they are going to attack the first astronaut they see, which will lead to an interplanetary war.
     
  3. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Location:
    Alpha Quadrant
    :confused:

    Are glow in the dark patches really the best option here? It seems like they would mostly be for style. A flashlight or something analogous to those miner helmets with a light on them would be better.

    Anyways, without knowing anything else about the suits I choose Buzz Lightyear because Toy Story = awesome
     
  4. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,958
    I am inclined to agree, they are truly ugly suites and I find all of the illuminated patches besides the Technology one to be ugly as well. Oh well, at least they are functional.

    I really have no idea but I assume they have good reason for choosing them. I'm also unsure if they are glow in the dark or electrically lit, though I think maybe the article clears that up.


    Does anyone else think the 'Biomimicry' design is reminiscent of a Krogan suit from Mass Effect?
     
  5. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,951
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Voted other: with sponsorship advertising

    Raise funds for research and such, you know.
     
  6. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    9,908
    Location:
    茨城県
    I went with Biomimicry, just because I don't like the teardrop shape and I'm not a dirty Vanu.
     
  7. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,958
    I read some place that some of the landers that are competing for the Google Lunar X program are selling advertising space to help offset the cost of the mission. I believe the first landers will launch next year, which will be exciting.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    50,829
    Location:
    Stamford Bridge
    I don't really like any of the new styles, aside from maybe the Buzz one. The first 3 ones look like they were designed in the 60s.
     
  9. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,958
    You don't know how right you are:



    The above are some early space suit designs that NASA went through before they got to the familiar Apollo suits. They were all rejected because they weighed a ton and when they failed (which they all did), they failed catastrophically and would essentially explode outward. The soft suits they ended up going with wouldn't 'pop' if they failed, they just started leaking, whereas the hard suits would turn into shrapnel or parts of them like the helmet would fly off.

    Here's a really good, but short, interview about the history of the Apollo suits. They talk about how they were made by non-engineers at Playtex (the bra company) because in essence, they were the only company that could pull it off.
     
  10. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,602
    Yeah, I voted for original Apollo in this poll and I'd consider voting for the Buzz Lightyear suit if it was an option (because it looks like it was inspired by the Apollo style suits).

    I get the advantage they are trying to go for with that backpack docking thing, but if they could slap the original Apollo paint job on it instead of going for the garbage futuristic crap it would be so much better.


    I'm actually way more interested in this. So this new launch vehicle has 5 smaller engines and 2 of the Saturn V's big F-1s strapped on either side? How does the overall mass compare to the Saturn V?
     
  11. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    9,492
    Gender:
    Male
    I voted for the Buzz Lightyear suit, and I expect this to become the most popular choice by far.

    On to the stars, and beyond!
     
  12. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    8,002
    Location:
    the relative oasis of CFC
    Why does the NSA need a space suit?

    Never mind... Apparently I'm feeling dyslexic today. :blush:

    Um, I'd vote for the second one I guess. Would be better if we can attach some more tentacles or something though, to really scare the Martians!
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,958
    To troll you from space!

    Sorry, I must have worded it badly but the Buzz Lightyear suite is an option in the poll for this thread, just not for the official NASA poll.

    I hate the look of the new suits but I really like the Techno paint job. That said, the Apollo paint scheme would be pretty awesome.

    The other reason why these suits look so goofy is that it looks like they are using a hardshell/softshell hybrid, which offers a ton of advantages for dexterity. The suits they currently use (made by Dover LLC, which spun off of Playtex in the 70's to focus on the suits) balloon outward under their internal pressure and are consequently extremely difficult to use. A hardshell doesn't have that issue and with good joints, it is actually much more flexible than a softshell, but of course it has to not explode in vacuum like their early models did. Due to advances in materials sciences, I'm sure that's much less of a problem now.

    Awesome! I love splooging talking about rockets.

    So this is a bit complicated to answer, but I'll try and be concise. (hint: I failed :lol: )

    The original Saturn V had 5 F-1 engines in the first stage. The earliest Apollo launches had early versions of the F-1 that were capable of roughly 1.5 million pounds of thrust. Each. Later flights (Apollo 14-17) had 'mature' engines that were capable of a bit more than that, around 1.6 million pounds of thrust each. However, this number varied from flight to flight so there is no real 'go to' number that can be used other than to say they were rated for 1.5 million pounds of thrust.

    It gets even trickier on the payload side because again, later missions used more (and definitely heavier) hardware. The go-to number for payload of the Saturn V was 118,000 kg (118 metric tons). Additionally, if the program had not been cancelled, some minor changes to the rocket (they would have dropped the fins on the first stage and probably gone with F-1A engines which were capable of 1.8 million pounds of thrust) they could have probably pushed that payload to ~130,000 kg.

    The SLS is different in that there are distinct versions with major differences in capability, called 'blocks'*. Block I is the one they will fly first and it has a payload of 70 metric tons by using 4 of the space shuttle main engines and 2 'stretched' solid rocket boosters, also from the space shuttle. (for reference, 70 metric tons is still about 2-3x more payload than the best current rockets can deliver)

    Block II is an upgraded version that will be capable of delivering at least 130 metric tons of payload to low earth orbit. Currently, the plan is that the Block II will use a bigger second stage and totally redesigned 'advanced' solid rocket boosters. However, there is currently a competition going on between ATK (which makes the solid rocket boosters) and Aerojet-Rocketdyne/Dynetics over the design of the boosters. ATK is trying to develop a new type of solid booster, while Rocketdyne/Dynetics is developing a booster that uses liquid fueled engines by re-working the F-1.

    Essentially, the F-1B will borrow a lot of the design philosophy of the original F-1/F-1A's, but it will have no common parts with them. Due to advances in materials science and fabrication, they can reduce components that had literally thousands of pieces in the original F-1 down to a single casting or 3D printed part. Dynetics claims that if they win the competition that an SLS Block II could deliver up to 160 metric tons to LEO, which is 42 tons more than the Saturn V, a 35% increase. This puts missions to Mars well within practical reach, which is the ultimate goal of the SLS program.

    To put this in perspective, the Saturn V had 5 F-1 engines in the first stage. SLS Block II will have 4 or 5 Space Shuttle Main Engines (which are themselves powerful engines) in addition to 4 F-1B's in the boosters (2 per booster). Talk about power!


    *There is a ton of confusion in the literature over what constitutes Blocks 0, I, and II so you'll see different labels based on the source. It's looking like they are planning on testing a Block 0 with no 2nd stage, flying a Block I with a second stage on a lunar flyby mission (that I'm working with my satellite team on getting a secondary piggyback payload on) and later Block II's with advanced boosters and stretched stages to an asteroid and to Mars.

    Here is a really great podcast about the F-1 engine and the SLS.

    Full disclosure: I am trying to get a jerb a Dynetics currently. Should hear back any day now.
     
  14. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    22,064
    I'm gonna go with Technology. It looks the best out of the choices provided. I suppose it is much too early to expect the light-weight, thick coat sized suits a la Mass Effect.
     
  15. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    16,522
    Location:
    Canada
    I vote we send people to Mars without any spacesuits or any way to exit the spacecraft.
     
  16. Mr. Dictator

    Mr. Dictator A Chain-Smoking Fox

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    Messages:
    9,094
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Technology.

    Comparatively sleek design wins every time.

    On the downside, I can't unsee techno-boxers.
     
  17. illram

    illram Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,218
    Location:
    San Francisco
    OK, maybe this is a dumb question. You said this means no airlock, so you leave and enter via your suit exclusively? But aren't there emergency situations where you might need to suit up inside, or enter the ship with your suit on? E.g. the ship loses air or is somehow exposed to vacuum and there is something you need to fix inside to restore atmosphere, but you have to suit up. So you have to get in the suit, spacewalk to the "door," (there has to be a door...) and then go back in I guess? Then how do you stick the suit back "outside" once you have fixed the problem? Don't you need an airlock? Am I missing something? I am probably missing something.
     
  18. CavLancer

    CavLancer This aint fertilizer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,298
    Location:
    Oregon or Philippines
    No choices for the ladies or do we all look alike in space?
     
  19. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    9,368
    Location:
    Hiding
    I wish I could change my vote to 'Technology.' Didn't read the link before voting. :(
     
  20. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,958
    That's a thing as well, it's called 'Inspiration Mars' and it is an idea being kicked around by Dennis Tito (one of the first space tourists and he's mega-wealthy). His original idea was to send a completely privately-funded ship with 2 older people* on it to fly-by Mars during a favorable alignment in 2017. They wouldn't get out of the ship, they'd just look out the window during the week or so they spend near Mars and then whip around the planet to come back to Earth. His plan was met with a ton of criticism because it's wasn't realistic at all - especially from a budgetary perspective. He had 0 chance of funding it himself.

    So eventually his deadlines slipped and now he can't make the 2017 launch but he revamped his plans for a mid 2020's launch. He has also changed his plan from a private-only to a public-private partnership and has been nagging NASA to get them to essentially give him an SLS to launch his mission.

    *He picked older people because of the high risk of the mission, especially the high radiation dosage. That's a major concern and there is even debate over whether or not the US would allow such a mission because it far exceeds radiation dosage limits allowed for US workers in all industries. The other problems were that he originally wanted to use essentially unproven Russian hardware that's been sitting in a warehouse for 30 years, he originally didn't have a big enough launcher, his time tables were impossibly unrealistic and of course he didn't have enough cash to burn on this one mission even though he's mega rich.

    This type of suit seen as the end-game of spacesuits:
    Spoiler :


    Instead of using air pressure to keep the body pressurized, it uses fabric pressure. It basically squeezes your body with fabric really hard to keep you from exploding. The inventor has run into some issues, principally around the joints and the nooks and crannies of the body (like the inside of the elbow). I know she claimed it was 'almost' workable but I haven't seen anything on the 'biosuit' recently so I don't know if development stalled.

    But it would be a major advance in spacesuits as they would be much more flexible and easier to use.

    No your not missing something. In fact, due to what you say here, they probably will have some sort of emergency door into their rovers and habitats. I should have been clearer because while these suits mean you don't strictly need an airlock, you probably will still want one. Though you'd never, ever want to use it except in emergencies because of dust contamination. Both Martian and Lunar dust are unbelievably abrasive - think of microscopic glass shards - and not only does it ruin equipment, it's extremely bad for your lungs.

    Both men and women wear the same suits. IIRC, the only parts of current American suits that are tailored for individuals are the gloves, the rest of the components are just picked by size (like small, medium, large, etc).

    Amusing aside: Back in the Apollo days, they had to make special condom-like fittings for the men to pee into while suited up and they came in small, medium and large sizes. They quickly found all the astronauts would only use the large sizes despite them not always fitting. So they renamed them all to something like large, huge and grande or something. Problem solved.

    Of course, what's really funny to me is that flaccid penis size is not very well correlated with erect penis size. But even if they knew that, their egos wouldn't allow them to use small condom fittings.
     

Share This Page