The beginning of the Spacesuit
In 1928, Aeronaut Benito Molas and his crew tried to reach stratospheric heights, but they failed and unfortunately, they died due to lack of oxygen. Learning from the mistakes of others, Emilio Herrera worked on building a balloon that would be able to reach heights of 20,000 metres (65,600 feet) and focused on creating a suit that provides resistance from the cold and low pressure with a constant supply of oxygen, with physical mobility anyone would need during the expedition.
Herrera designed his suit with one layer of wool, the second layer of rubber, and another of a fabric reinforced with steel cables, all wrapped in an exterior layer of silver that prevented overheating. The helmet was of steel-covered aluminium with triple-glazed glass to avoid radiation and equipped with a microphone for radio communications. The joints of the suit were flexible enough for the movement of a person inside it.
After a few years, NASA came into the game and advanced Spacesuit Technology.
What is a Spacesuit?
A spacesuit is a one-person spacecraft that includes everything an Astronaut needs to fight Space conditions. The formal name for Spacesuit used on the space shuttle and International Space Station is "Extravehicular Mobility Unit", or EMU. "Extravehicular" - outside the vehicle or spacecraft and "Mobility" - An astronaut can move around wearing the suit. A Spacesuit is far more advanced than you think, In just a small limited volume, it fulfils all the needs and offers resistance to the harsh environment of space to an Astronaut.
Problems faced in space.
Imagine exploring a planet with an environment, unlike Earth. Spacewalking face a wide variety of temperatures. In Earth's orbit, surroundings can be cold as minus 250 Fahrenheit or as hot as 250 degrees. Not just variable Temperature, Space is almost perfectly vacuumed as there are very less gas molecules. Problems doesn't end here, you breathe oxygen every single second to survive but can you breathe in Space? Well, NO. The binding energy of oxygen (O-O) is high enough so oxygen atoms are stuck to stardust in cold interstellar. As a result, oxygen atoms cling tightly to stardust, preventing them from joining together to form oxygen molecules (O2). So just wonder about what will happen to our body in a vacuum at extreme temperatures with no oxygen to breathe.
Effects of a Raw Space Exposure
The human body can hardly survive the Harsh environment of space. Consciousness will be lost within 15 seconds due to the effect of lack of oxygen. Highly energized subatomic protons exposed to the body may disrupt essential physical and chemical processes in the body, such as altering DNA or causing cancers. Human flesh would expand to twice its size, due to pressure differences inside and outside of our body. The greatest danger is in attempting to hold one's breath before exposure, as the subsequent explosive decompression can damage the lungs. Human skin does not need to be protected from vacuum and is gas-tight by itself. Instead, it only needs to be mechanically compressed to retain its normal shape. This can be accomplished with a tight-fitting elastic body suit and a helmet for containing breathing gases, known as a space activity suit (SAS).
Spacesuits help astronauts in several ways. Spacesuits have an Oxygen supply for astronauts to breathe while they are in the vacuum of space. Not just Oxygen, it also featured with water facility to drink during spacewalks. A Spacesuit is light but well-built to protect astronauts from being injured from the impacts of space dust. Space dust may not sound very dangerous, but the problem arises when many tiny objects are moving many times faster than a bullet, it can cause serious injury. Cosmic radiation consists of high-energy charged particles, x-rays and gamma rays produced by stars and our Sun. Exposure to these high-energy rays proves harmful to an individual, but the saviour-'Spacesuit' is resistant to them too.
How a tiny Spacesuit is fully equipped?
The two main components of a spacewalk suit are the pressure garment and the life support system. The pressure garment is the human-structured portion of the spacesuit that protects the body and enables mobility. The primary factors of the pressure garment are the upper torso, lower torso, cooling garment and helmet. The flexible corridor of the suit is made from as numerous as 16 layers of material. These layers perform different roles in a spacesuit, from supplying oxygen within the spacesuit to guarding it from space dust. The white external subcaste reflects heat from the sun and is made of a fabric that blends three kinds of vestments. One thread provides water resistance, another is the material used to make bullet-proof vests, and the third element is fire-resistant. The life support system is a pack that manages the inventories and outfits to make the suit work. It provides the oxygen to breathe and pressurize the suit. A controller that maintains correct pressure. A motor fan that circulates oxygen throughout the suit and a mechanical system where the carbon dioxide that we exhale is thrown out of the suit. The pack also contains water for the cooling garment, a bite to cool the water, and a pump that circulates the stupefied water. The pack also provides electricity essential for two-way radio communication. The integrated communication system has speakers mounted inside the helmet area and multiple bedded voice-actuated microphones that automatically pick up the astronaut’s voice.
Spacesuits have been a great invention, it looks simple from the outside but it is far more advanced than we could think. Spacesuits had made it possible for Astronauts to get out of their spacecraft and explore the solar system without any inconvenience.
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