Latest in Ap

Image credit:

North Dakota students show off Mars spacesuit prototype

Evan Blass
05.07.06
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

We had assumed that with all the robots being developed for deployment to Mars, the human astronauts would mostly be lounging around inside the comfort of their robot-built habitats and ordering drinks from their robot bartenders, but yesterday's unveiling of a prototype spacesuit for navigating the Martian terrain proves that manned missions might not be as cushy as we anticipated. The 50-pound suit (which they somehow got The Office's Steve Carell to model) was designed by students from five North Dakota colleges in a collaborative project funded by a $100,000 NASA grant, and includes at least three innovative technologies for which patents have been filed. Among the slew of sensors and communications gear designed for the harsh, low-gravity environment are oxygen and carbon dioxide detectors, GPS system, full suite of health monitors, shoulder mounted CCD cam, Bluetooth server to coordinate all the data, and a high-power transmitter for beaming info back to the mothership -- though curiously, there's no mention of an onboard weapons system that would be crucial for encounters with the occasional hostile Martian. Also, as the AP helpfully notes, even with all the research and design that went into this project, the forty-odd students seemed to neglect a key feature of any good full-body suit, which is an "escape hatch" for when the astronauts need to "jettison their waste."

[Via futurismic and abc]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

View
Hulu brings 4K content to the Xbox One

Hulu brings 4K content to the Xbox One

View
What's on TV this week: 'Watchmen'

What's on TV this week: 'Watchmen'

View
Ford's remote car starting and unlocking are available for free

Ford's remote car starting and unlocking are available for free

View
Facebook's Libra loses one more member as its council becomes official

Facebook's Libra loses one more member as its council becomes official

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr