Astronauts Study New SkinSuit and New Lights

The aurora is pictured as the International Space Station orbits Earth during a nighttime pass.

NASA is planning human spaceflight missions further out into space and is learning how astronauts adapt to life off Earth for months and years at a time. The International Space Station provides the laboratory environment for numerous studies into how the human body reacts when exposed to microgravity.

Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet, from the European Space Agency, is wearing the new SkinSuit to study its ability to offset the effects of living in space including back pain and spine-stretching. The unique, tailor-made suit squeezes the body from the shoulder to the feet mimicking the force felt on Earth. Pesquet is evaluating the SkinSuit’s comfort, range of motion and its functionality while exercising.

Lighting is also very important when living in space since the daily sunrise and sunset cycle that guides life on Earth no longer applies. The crew is participating in tests helping researchers understand how new station lights that can be adjusted for intensity and wavelength are affecting crew sleep patterns and cognitive performance.

The cosmonauts, Oleg Novitskiy, Andrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov, were conducting their own set of human research experiments today. The trio collected blood and saliva samples to explore how the immune system and bone mass is affected in outer space. The samples were stowed in a U.S. science freezer for later analysis on Earth.

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8 thoughts on “Astronauts Study New SkinSuit and New Lights”

  1. It’s not a fashion question, really. I’m just curious as to how the SkinSuit looks. Is it more like a flight suit that has “balloons” to counter g-forces?

  2. Why spend so much time and money on countering the effects of microgravity when you can simulate gravity with a rotating station? The effort spent over the last three decades studying micro G could have gone into reliable simulated G.

    1. Artificial gravity drives major design impacts to a spacecraft. Crew need no more than a couple RPMs, which at 1g results in a rotation radius of 50 meters or more. And the bigger the spacecraft, the more energy and complexity to spin it up and spin it down. Its worth spending time to look at artificial gravity, but its not an easy fix.

  3. this is very good article…..but there are not opportunities in all countries regarding astronomy ….NASA should collect talent and space lovers from all over the world…like me

  4. I still get goose bumps when I watch old footage of Neil Armstrong dancing around on the moon’s surface. To explore space further with human astronauts is real 21st century pioneering stuff. Man’s natural instinct to explore, must never be restricted. Go for it!

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