Stylish Metallic Astronaut Spacesuit That May Also Fit For Satellite Antenna Equipment And Spacecraft

First Posted: Apr 20, 2017 05:40 AM EDT

Raul Polit-Casillas, a systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and his team have recently developed a metal fabric suitable for making astronaut spacesuits. The metal fabric contains repetitive patterns of squares of silver-like metal. The fabric possesses heat insulation properties. It can also reflect sunlight so that it does not get heated.

The material is highly tensile and foldable. These properties make it a highly advantageous space fabric that can not only be used for making astronaut spacesuits but also for the development of space shields that can protect satellite equipment and spacecraft from meteorites, Gadgets 360 reported.

Designing an astronaut spacesuit is an understandably difficult task. Not only the suit has to be light weight, stretchable and comfortable, it must also be equipped with all the necessary gadgets required for supporting life in space. Since space agencies are eyeing to start manned missions to Mars, Venus and Europa, it is also required that the spacesuit should insulate the body of the astronauts against extremely high or low temperatures.

The recently developed metal fabric suffices all these requirements and then some. The surfaces of the fabric are so designed that they complement each other. While one side of the fabric absorbs light, the other side reflects it. They both work in tandem to maintain the optimum body temperature inside. Furthermore, it is highly foldable and is thus easy to put on and pull off.

According to, the simplicity of the production of this particular metallic space fabric is that the process of its manufacture does not necessitate the application of complex mechanical procedures. Polit-Casillas and his team employed additive manufacturing methods via 3-D printing technology.   

They amped up the technique to the next level so that they can print the fabric with its desired geometrical pattern and functional properties. Polit-Casillas calls it 4-D printing. The team proposed that application of this technique can facilitate easy and fast assembly of spacecraft, rocket launchers and other equipment required for space travel at a minimal cost. 

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