The Space Suit and its functions
The Space suit has a mass of 47 pounds (21 kg) without a life support backpack, and costs only a fraction of the standard USD$12,000,000 cost for a flight-rated NASA space suit. So I’ve been wondering, what does this suit contain or perform that made it that expensive? Owning one space suit is like having about 10 Bugatti Veyron cars! So first let’s get into details;
A space suit is a garment worn to keep a human alive in the harsh environment of outer space, vacuum and temperature extremes. Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure, and are necessary for extravehicular activity (EVA), work done outside spacecraft. Space suits have been worn for such work in Earth orbit, on the surface of the Moon, and en route back to Earth from the Moon. Modern space suits augment the basic pressure garment with a complex system of equipment and environmental systems designed to keep the wearer comfortable, and to minimize the effort required to bend the limbs, resisting a soft pressure garment’s natural tendency to stiffen against the vacuum. A self-contained oxygen supply and environmental control system is frequently employed to allow complete freedom of movement, independent of the spacecraft. –Wikipedia
Three types of spacesuits exist for different purposes:
- IVA (intravehicular activity), IVA suits are meant to be worn inside a pressurized spacecraft, and are therefore lighter and more comfortable.
- EVA (extravehicular activity), EVA suits, such as the EMU, are used outside spacecraft, for either planetary exploration or spacewalks. They must protect the wearer against all conditions of space, as well as provide mobility and functionality.
- IEVA (intra/extravehicular activity). IEVA suits are meant for use inside and outside the spacecraft, such as the Gemini G4C suit. They include more protection from the harsh conditions of space, such as protection from micrometeorites and extreme temperature change.
Do you know a single space suit costs $12 million?