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

New Investment for traditional Myanmar textiles, weavers

Textiles | On 21st Oct 2018

New Investment for traditional Myanmar textiles, weavers

Myanmar Artisans Co Ltd, Turquoise Mountain and the DaNa Facility,...

Pak knitwear exporters plan environmental compliance

Textiles | On 21st Oct 2018

Pak knitwear exporters plan environmental compliance

Pakistani manufacturers and exporters of knitwear garments have...

Courtesy: Hyosung

Textiles | On 21st Oct 2018

Hyosung converting spandex plants into smart factories

Hyosung TNC, the textile and trading unit arm of Hyosung, is...

Interviews View All

C. Dhandayuthapani, Mag Solvics Pvt. Ltd

C. Dhandayuthapani
Mag Solvics Pvt. Ltd

ITME 2016 exploited our full strength like never before

Karan Suratwala, Key Textile Accessories Private Limited

Karan Suratwala
Key Textile Accessories Private Limited

Chinese imports are destroying the supply chain

Top executives, Textile industry

Top executives
Textile industry

GST has levelled the playing field to an extent

Sarah Perkins,

Sarah Perkins

Fairfax, Virginia-based Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is a...

Abhishek Pachauri,

Abhishek Pachauri

Reckon Industries adapts latest systems for manufacturing from designing...

Rikesh Mistry,

Rikesh Mistry

Jupiter Comtex Pvt Ltd, established in 1973, started its textile machinery ...

Paige Mullis, Glen Raven Inc

Paige Mullis
Glen Raven Inc

Paige Mullis discusses the expansion plans of Glen Raven Inc in India, and ...

Robin Grankvist, OrganoClick AB

Robin Grankvist
OrganoClick AB

Robin Grankvist talks about PFCs, additives and various chemicals used in...

Davide Vigano, Sensoria

Davide Vigano
Sensoria

Sensoria is a leading developer of smart garments and IoMe (Internet of...

Sidharth Sinha, Sidharth Sinha

Sidharth Sinha
Sidharth Sinha

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

Varsha Wadhwa, VW

Varsha Wadhwa
VW

Coming from a family that ran a business of jute and linen mills since...

Sanjukta Dutta, Sanjukta's Studio

Sanjukta Dutta
Sanjukta's Studio

<b>Sanjukta Dutta</b> creates unique garments by clubbing prints of...

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


October 2018

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

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search