NASA Rover Could Lead To Making Safer Spacesuits


via Wikipedia

Neil Armstrong pulls up to the ISS in this, wyd?

Recently, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has gotten the opportunity to analyze how their spacesuits would hold up on the moon. Robots will be sent to Mars with the given spacesuits to see if it is sustainable for humans. This protective gear will be sent to Mars on a rover that hasn’t been named yet but will reach in 2020 according to officials in NASA.

   The primary mission to go on Mars in 2020 is to find any signs of microbial life that could have sustained on Mars and habitable conditions from the past. The sample robots in the suits will have 2 purposes in this test. First, they will become a target for a laser instrument called SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals). Then, after the material decays over time unprecedented information that will help find out how to help astronauts be protected from hazards on Mars including the chemicals in the soil, ultraviolet light, and radiation.

NASA previously tested how the current and possibly future space suits held up while being exposed to 2,500 hours of ultraviolet radiation. “The spacesuits were more brittle and seemed like the could snap any minute,” stated a study presented at the 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems. Most of the material on the suits lost tensile strength (the resistance of the material under tension) making it not admissible on Mars.

California State Fullerton Jet Propulsion Lab is the main lead for the Mars 2020 rover and they invited other scientists from Johnson Space Center to send material including, Teflon and polycarbonate. Materials like these make up the outer layer of the suits, gloves, and visors according to NASA. In Houston, the space center will use Teflon and polycarbonate in a chamber that replicates how it would be on Mars and then measure the results basing it off of the SHERLOC analysis. Using the results they will calibrate the chamber.  

Studies show that the Mars 2020 rover will be able to stay on Mars for one Martian year which is equivalent to 12,000 hours of exposure to the ultraviolet rays. The Mars 2020 rover is expected to move faster than the Curiosity or its previous rovers. Having calibration targets will allow NASA to ensure SHERLOC stays at the right alignments after being exposed to temperature changes.

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is going to a revolutionary change if the spacesuits can stay on Mars for a period of time without harming anyone inside it. After this mission, NASA will most likely try to get people on Mars after 2020 and this rover is expected to launch in July or August.