Once man made it to space, the images of astronauts in their stuffed space suits became a trademark. Images of astronaut’s semi flying and taking huge leaps on the gravity stricken surface of moon are embedded in our minds. The agency behind all these great achievements, NASA, is planning on rewriting the rules of the space game. For years, it has dealt with the rumors and reports regarding the side effects of microgravity on the physical and mental well-being of astronauts. Draper laboratory in association with NASA has started work on its first anti-gravity spacesuits. These suits are expected to keep astronauts in good health during long space voyages or exposure to microgravity conditions. The program is the brainchild of NASA innovative Advanced Concepts.
The idea behind the whole exercise is to create suits that mimic an earth-like environment. This way, Astronauts bodies will be better adapted even during longer exposures to microgravity. Astronauts experience radical changes in their movement coordination and other bodily functions in the zero gravity of space. This would no longer be a case once these new suits are introduced. These suits have an inertial measurement unit and gyroscopes to fluctuate bodily resistance as per the requirement. This inertial measurement unit also keeps track of angular changes in the body and movement. The fluctuations often occur when astronauts travel from their spaceships to an outer mass like asteroid or a satellite.
The suit also has some additional uses outside the space scenario. It can be used for rehabilitation purposes as an aid in physical therapy for those suffering from brain injuries, spinal cord or back bone injuries, strokes etc. It can also come in handy for senior citizens who are having complications with posture or movements.
The good news is that by the end of the next year draper will be able to finish its first prototype. The rest of the project is still in its early stages and can take five to ten years for completion.