The Structure and Materials of an Astronaut's Space Suit
Exploring outer space is not an easy feat. There are many unknown dangers that a human being must face. The first and probably most important being that no human without the proper safety attire could possibly survive the severe vacuum and temperature of space for exceptionally long. This is where the Astronaut space suit comes into play. The Astronaut's space suits has been an integral part in the space program since man started to venture into space back in the 1960's over the years since the pioneering decade many modifications have been made to the space suit. These modifications have made it more durable and more practical than ever before.
So, what does it take to make an Astronaut's space suit durable and able to withstand the harsh conditions of outer space?
A spacesuit is actually made of several different parts all of which are invaluable in the function of the space suit. Some of these parts are the durable layers of fabric that are used on the outer layer of the suit along with an inner section that keeps the person properly insulated. The parts of the suit are as follows, the suit that covers the torso, legs, arms, which connects to the properly insulated gloves, helmet, and boots. So, an Astronaut's entire body is covered by the space suit or as it is called by NASA, the Extravehicular Mobility Unit EMU for short.
The EMU makes it possible for an Astronaut to go into outer space, giving them sort of a one-man spacecraft that they are actually wearing. The suit is designed to have many benefits for the Astronaut wearing it.
- Temperature Control: Outer space is subjective in its temperature it can either be extremely hot, or extremely cold. The suit gives the individual wearing it a livable temperature to deal with.
- Proper Pressurization: In order for a spacesuit to be able to maintain the right temperature and oxygen levels, it must be properly pressurized to keep all components in place.
- Protection against Radiation: In space there are dangers of being exposed to ultraviolet radiation and particle radiation, the EMU is designed to help shield against exposure from these.
- Proper Oxygen: There is no oxygen in outer space, yet man needs air to live, these suits are design with oxygen supply included. The suit is also designed to help eliminate carbon dioxide.
- Communications System: Each suit is installed with a communications system to make it possible to communicate with the spacecraft.
- Mobility: There was a time when good mobility in a spacesuit wasn't possible but now the more advancements of the suits have made them more mobile for an individual to get around in outer space.
These are just some of the components that the modern-day Astronaut's Spacesuit has. Needless to say, there could be more advancements as time goes on. When we think back to the first types of space suits that were used by NASA back at the beginning of the 1960's when it came to existence with the Mercury One program mobility was not the key component. The suits were hard shell and little mobility was able to be achieved in them, but the suits serve their purpose to find if man could indeed survive in space.
When Apollo 11 took man to the moon it was time to take the suit to the next level and start thinking of mobility and movement while in space. Even this suit has evolved over the years to more durable type of fabric, so who knows what the future will hold in advancing the space suit as man continues to explore the region known as outer space.