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Moscow (Voice of Russia) Feb 04, 2014
Dr. Gernot Groomer from Austria has designed a spacesuit for walking on Mars. It takes him three hours to put it on. The suit is made from 10,000 parts and designed for the most treacherous environment to be encountered by human beings.
Groomer is an astrobiologist responsible for making a spacesuit for the future explorers of Mars and he is taking inspiration from armour worn by medieval knights.
Groomer paints a terrifying picture of the Martian landscape: abrasive particles of glassy sand whipped into dust storms with wind speeds of 200 km per hour, Galactic cosmic rays of radiation with only a very thin atmosphere to block it, temperatures plummeting to minus 130 degrees Celsius.
This environment can only be referred to as fairly hostile, he says. Groomer's team are developing a suit to withstand the challenge.
The 45 kilogram suit incorporates air and power supplies, communication devices, sensors to take biometric readings and ventilation, and also all the facilities that allow the astronaut to eat, drink and even scratch their nose while away from the base.
It's a robotic creation with all the life-support systems of a conventional spacesuit but with added capabilities required to operate all alone on a distant planet where fast communication with Earth is impossible.
The suits are made to be robust enough for long-term missions across Mars' totally unforgiving landscape. But Groomer's main concern is not toughness.
While the other teams' suits are strongly focused on withstanding the physical strains of walking on Mars, Groomer claims that his team's effort is the most intelligent.
He says that the big difference in their suit is that they consider it as a central hub for an entire family of instruments. The wearer can keep control of a robotic explorer vehicle and all the devices and sensors to be housed at the base station on Mars.
The word Groomer keeps mentioning is safety. He wants to keep the astronauts of the future safe, 380mln km from home.
Source: Voice of Russia
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