Video: SpaceX reveals high-tech Extravehicular Activity suit designed for spacewalk - Hindustan Times
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Video: SpaceX reveals high-tech Extravehicular Activity suit designed for spacewalk

May 05, 2024 09:43 PM IST

SpaceX's newly developed Extravehicular Activity suit will assist astronauts during spacewalks, an advancement from the current intravehicular (IVA) suit.

SpaceX unveiled the advanced “Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit” on Saturday, designed for a spacewalk during its upcoming mission “Polaris Dawn”, the space company's inaugural flight of its human spaceflight programme. According to Elon Musk's SpaceX, “Polaris Dawn” marks the programme's first of three human spaceflight missions, with a target launch to orbit.

The suit's 3D-printed helmet features a redesigned visor to minimise glare during Extravehicular Activities.(X/@SpaceX)
The suit's 3D-printed helmet features a redesigned visor to minimise glare during Extravehicular Activities.(X/@SpaceX)

During the five-day mission, orbiting about 700 km above Earth, the crew will undertake the inaugural commercial extravehicular activity (EVA) using upgraded spacesuits, replacing the current intravehicular (IVA) suit. This space initiative will mark the first instance of four astronauts being simultaneously exposed to space's vacuum.

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The Polaris Dawn crew will pioneer the testing of Starlink laser-based communications in space, gathering crucial insights for future space communication systems vital for lunar, Martian, and interplanetary missions. According to SpaceX, the development and use of these space suits and the execution of the EVA represent significant strides towards crafting scalable spacesuit designs for upcoming extended-duration missions.

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Features of EVA suit

- SpaceX's newly developed EVA suit will assist astronauts during spacewalks, an advancement from the current IVA suits worn on Dragon missions.

- Mobility was a crucial consideration in the suit's development, with SpaceX integrating new materials, manufacturing techniques, and innovative joint designs. These improvements offer astronauts greater flexibility in pressurised conditions while maintaining comfort in unpressurised situations.

- The suit's 3D-printed helmet features a redesigned visor to minimise glare during EVAs. It also includes a Heads-Up Display (HUD) and camera to provide real-time data on pressure, temperature, and humidity within the suit.

- Enhancements for reliability and redundancy, including additional seals and pressure valves, have been incorporated into the suit. These features are crucial for maintaining suit pressurisation and ensuring crew safety during spacewalks.

- All these improvements are part of a scalable design approach, enabling the production of suits tailored to different body types. SpaceX aims to enhance accessibility to space for all individuals.

- While the SpaceX EVA suit will debut in low-Earth orbit during Polaris Dawn, its long-term mission extends beyond Earth's immediate vicinity. Establishing lunar bases and Martian settlements will necessitate scalable spacesuit designs to accommodate the millions of suits required for multi-planetary life.

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