Suiting Up

March 24, 2017
NASA

Meet a NASA engineer who designs spacesuits for future missions.

A Mars explorer must be able to bend his or her knees.

BILL STAFFORD—NASA

How do you keep dust out of a spacesuit? That is a problem Lindsay Aitchison wants to solve. She is an engineer at NASA.

NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. Dust can damage spacesuits. Suits for Mars will need to be easy to fix. Why? The trip will be long. “We’re talking about stays of up to 500 days,” Aitchison says.

As part of her job, Lindsay Aitchison gets to experience zero gravity.

NASA

One solution is to make suits modular. This will allow astronauts to swap out individual pieces.

Modular suits also make it easier to customize the fit. The suits must fit both men and women.

Aitchison says she and her team look for design ideas in “everything from computer-gaming magazines to fashion magazines.” They are excited to help NASA meet its exploration goals.

Think!

What is one problem described in the story? What is a possible solution?