The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently revealed that it is developing spacesuit technologies for future astronauts on the Moon. In a new YouTube video, the US space agency informed that astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) are testing the new spacesuits with built-in water cooling systems in order to stay safe from Sun's unfiltered rays. NASA has outlined its upcoming technologies in the clip titled "Keeping Cool in Space".
“As NASA embraces commercial partnerships to optimize spacesuit technology as part of the Artemis program, the Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE) payload continues to be tested onboard the International Space Station,” NASA wrote in the caption of the clip.
The latest video shows NASA astronauts conducting spacewalks just outside the ISS while receiving cooled water from an onboard device. The astronauts are also seen wearing special garments under their spacesuits that feature tubes filled with a constant stream of circulating water. The space agency has called this extra layering a “liquid cooling ventilation garment” as it absorbs heat created by astronauts' movements.
The new spacesuit is equipped with pressure sensors and a thermal control loop in order to maintain a set temperature. It has the ability to release warm water vapour into space. According to NASA, the latest cooling technologies are being tested for the upcoming Artemis missions, which are set to take place in 2025. The programme aims to return the humans to the Moon.
“Temperatures on the lunar surface can reach a blistering 250 degrees Fahrenheit. How does NASA keep astronauts cool in spacesuits so that they can work on the Moon? Fortunately, each spacesuit includes a personal cooling unit,” the caption of the video read.
The space agency informed that currently, astronauts aboard ISS conduct spacewalks using water recycled from a unit onboard the station. But now the engineers are working to condense the necessary resources to fit into a self-contained suit so that astronauts can explore the Moon without an attachment to the lunar module. NASA said that to date, two of these compact units have been built. One is on Earth, while the other is aboard ISS, waiting to be tested in zero gravity.