NASA’s spacesuits allow astronauts to work in an extremely tough environment

The Washington Post (Brian Palmer) published an article on Monday providing a great overview of the challenges of living and working in space and doing spacewalks.

To state the obvious, space is an inhospitable environment… Spacesuits protect astronauts against all these challenges. They have multiple layers to provide insulation and prevent a puncture of the inner coating, which is filled with pure oxygen at a livable pressure… A layer of water circulates throughout the suit, interacting with a layer of ice near the outer surface, to moderate the temperature. A ventilation system removes excess body heat when the sun threatens to warm the astronaut too much… Modern suits have built-in life support systems, so the astronaut can function outside a spacecraft without being tethered to a much larger machine.

The suits are so self-contained that some refer to them as the universe’s smallest space vehicles.

Read more from the original publication.

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