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Feb 14, 2024

Collins Aerospace Successfully Tests NASA Space Station Suit in Microgravity

In a significant stride towards NASA’s space exploration goals, Collins Aerospace has recently accomplished a crucial design milestone in the development of a next-generation spacesuit for use on the International Space Station (ISS).

The milestone, involving a pressure garment system fit and functionality test in a microgravity-like environment, is a pivotal step towards creating a suit that can facilitate ongoing operations and enhance scientific exploration in low Earth orbit.

NASA has entrusted Collins Aerospace with the task of designing a new spacesuit to replace the current extravehicular mobility unit, worn by astronauts for over two decades during the assembly and maintenance of the space station.

To simulate microgravity conditions, Collins conducted the test aboard a commercial microgravity aircraft, which provides brief periods of weightlessness during parabolic flights. These flights, characterized by roller-coaster-like maneuvers, create weightless conditions for around 20 seconds, allowing engineers, scientists, and students to assess hardware and conduct scientific experiments in a space-like gravity environment without leaving Earth.

This test represents a crucial phase in NASA’s preliminary design review process, ensuring that the design meets all system requirements before moving forward to the manufacturing of flight-ready units.

Collins Aerospace plans to continue testing the spacesuit in a vacuum chamber, where air will be removed to create a space-like atmosphere. Additionally, further testing will take place at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a 40-foot deep pool at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, simulating a microgravity environment for astronaut spacewalk training.

The development of this next-generation spacesuit aims to enhance NASA’s spacewalking capabilities in low Earth orbit, supporting station maintenance and operations. As NASA and its international partners pursue scientific research for the benefit of humanity, this advanced spacesuit will also play a crucial role in demonstrating new technologies for future human and robotic missions.

Original Article by NASA

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