Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Gravity-loading skinsuit tackles astronauts' health problem
Gravity-loading skinsuit tackles astronauts' health problem
22
Oct '09
An RMIT University alumnus is working on a range of next-generation spacesuits for NASA and other space agencies to use on missions to the Moon and Mars.

Dr James Waldie's gravity-loading skinsuit tackles a significant health problem faced by astronauts – extreme bone loss – by mimicking the effect of gravity on the skeletal system.

Dr Waldie, a Postdoctoral Scholar at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, developed the concept for the skinsuit while studying at RMIT, where he obtained his PhD in 2005.

“On Earth, our bones are strong to support and move our body mass, but in space astronauts float around without any weight or loading,” he said.

“Their bodies adapt by allowing their bones to weaken at an alarming rate – it's like an extreme version of osteoporosis.

“The gravity-loading skinsuit replicates the normal forces of standing on Earth, so it makes the body think it needs to be strong even in the weightlessness of space.”

Dr Waldie, whose research is co-sponsored by the European Space Agency, recently flew on a zero-gravity aircraft to test the comfort, mobility and material properties of his suit.

Following the successful tests, five-time shuttle astronaut Jeff Hoffman, who is currently seconded to MIT from NASA, said the innovative skinsuit “could be a tremendous breakthrough in solving one of the fundamental problems of long-duration spaceflight”.

In research that bridges science fiction with reality, Dr Waldie is also working on skinsuits for spacewalks on Mars. He has studied the physiological aspects of the suits in vacuum chambers and looked at their mobility advantages by conducting simulated spacewalking tasks in the Australian outback with the Mars Society of Australia.

“The current spacesuits are big body-shaped balloons – they let you take a bit of the atmosphere around with you when you go for a spacewalk,” Dr Waldie said. “They are a marvel of engineering but because they're an inflatable they become bulky and rigid in space. Future explorers of Mars will require safe, light and flexible suits for years of use, which are a significant improvement over the bulky Apollo suits. Skinsuits may be able to offer that technological leap.”

RMIT University


Must ReadView All

'Sportswear is much more mainstream than earlier'

Fashion | On 20th Jul 2018

'Sportswear is much more mainstream than earlier'

The business of sportswear has evolved at a fast pace over the years. ...

Courtesy: YKK

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2018

Japanese firm YKK explores opening office in Uzbekistan

Japanese company YKK recently discussed with the Uztuqimachiliksanoat ...

HFPA alerts member firms on latest US tariff announcement

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2018

HFPA alerts member firms on latest US tariff announcement

The US Home Fashion Products Association (HFPA) has alerted its...

Interviews View All

Dharmendra Shah
Ozone PB Spintex Limited

‘We have made huge investments to ensure quality yarn production.’

Top executives
Textile industry

Defining MSMEs on the basis of turnover makes it simpler to do business

Divyesh Mashruwala
Akshar Industries

Surat dominates foiling, embossing and pleating

Karan Behal

Karan Behal, founder and chief executive of top-selling brand...

Shivani Swamy

The Livinguard Technology is owned by Green Impact Holding AG based in...

Manuele Baggini

Comec Italia Srl is a world leader in the production of printing machines. ...

Paolo Ocleppo
Sandvik Hyperion

Paolo Ocleppo, Rotary Cutting Segment manager, Sandvik Hyperion discusses...

Lynda Kelly
Suominen Corporation

Suominen Corporation is a manufacturer of nonwovens as roll goods for...

Urs Stalder
Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder, CEO, Sanitized AG, talks about the increasing use of hygiene...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Cigdem Akin
Cigdem Akin

She has carved a niche for herself as the national brand of Turkey. Her...

Sidharth Sinha
Sidharth Sinha

<b>Sidharth Sinha</b> has contributed to the successful rebirth and...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


July 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search