As NASA prepares for its first ever mission to planet Mars, the agency is starting to realize that those bulky old spacesuits hanging in the closet may need some serious upgrades.
Space suits will need to improve substantially so that they can be worn over long periods.
New suit designs will require the possibility of safe in-suit waste management and water provision, while future exploration space suits will demand no more than 10 percent of a wearer’s strength for movement, as well as a significant reduction in mass to less than 100 pounds in total.
NASA also plans to add voice controls and location tracking inside the suits.
Examining the planet’s deep interior could reveal clues about how all rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved, NASA said.
The lander is called InSight or Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.
The agency will hold a forum in Texas in October to discuss 100-kilometer-wide “exploration zones” that could work as landing sites.
The sites would need to have enough resources – such as sub-surface ice – to support human visitors as well as being scientifically interesting.
“This is going to be a hot debate,” said Jim Green, head of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division. “It will start exactly the conversation we need to be able to architect what a station on Mars would look like, and how it would operate.”
Once the sites have been chosen, Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey spacecraft will continue to scan the sites from space. The idea of a manned mission to Mars has been around for years.
The controversial Mars One project planned to turn a space mission into a TV reality show.
NASA speaks out on the imminent asteroid attack and destruction of Earth in September More recently, Nasa successfully tested its Orion spacecraft which will one day take human beings the 225,300,000 kilometers to Mars.
When the manned mission finally does take place, astronauts will be able to lay rest to the theory that a pyramid on the Red Planet represents and ancient alien civilization.