The Importance of Temperature Control Space Suits
If there’s one thing that the average person knows about space, it’s that its temperature isn’t anywhere close to that of our home planet. That means that astronauts absolutely must be outfitted in temperature control gear.
While we pay attention to the latest in space exploration, many of us lose sight of the fascinating ways in which NASA keeps its astronauts safe from the dangers of space. The manufacturing process behind spacesuits is undeniably intriguing. That’s because without the proper attention to detail, the astronaut is in serious danger.
Among the most important features of an astronaut’s spacesuit is temperature control. So, why is temperature control so crucial? Think about what makes our planet warm in some locations and cold in others. The sun is our source of heat, which means that how close we are to the sun determines how warm we feel. During the winter, when the sun is farthest away, the weather is at its coldest.
When you’re traveling through space, you’re in a massive field of space bodies that is, needless to say, much larger than Earth. That means that as you travel around, you may find yourself extremely close to the sun or extremely far away. Meanwhile, on our planet, you can only travel so far away from or so close to the sun.
This means that the range of temperature in space varies tremendously. For instance, if you’re very far away from the sun, you’re going to be in an environment that’s colder than anything you’ve ever known. However, if you’re very close to the sun, you’ll be hotter than it has ever gotten on Earth.
Also, there are certain space bodies that affect temperature. One example is stars. Stars give off hot gas that can dramatically raise the temperature around them.
Needless to say, astronauts must be able to maintain the internal temperature that their bodies are used to in order to handle any location in space. Our bodies have adapted to Earth’s environment, and when we’re taken out of it, dangerous things can happen. For instance, our blood has a boiling point that, when reached, is deadly. Similarly, extremely cold temperatures in space can lead to hypothermia that takes effect instantly.
Spacesuits are designed with temperature control features so that the astronaut maintains a body temperature that’s just like what we’d have due to our own environment on Earth. Spacesuits, in fact, consist of fourteen layers of different materials, each layer designed to protect the body in some way.
The innermost layer of a spacesuit is made from a spandex-like material. It’s designed to keep the body cool. This is necessary because otherwise, all of the other layers of a spacesuit would cause the astronaut to overheat.
There are also seven layers of mylar insulation. This insulation is specially designed to maintain a consistent temperature regardless of external changes. It’s very similar to a thermos that keeps your food at the same temperature no matter what the temperature is outdoors.
Spacesuits have other crucial layers as well. There is one layer that’s flame retardant so that the astronaut cannot light on fire. Another layer is designed to prevent the spacesuit from ripping, which is a real possibility when exposed to the harsh elements of space NASA Products.
Another thing to keep in mind is that spacesuits are always evolving. As we learn more about space and as technology continues to advance, NASA is always looking for new ways to ensure even more protection for their astronauts.
If it weren’t for temperature control spacesuits, we wouldn’t be able to send humans into space.