The American spacesuits used on the ISS no longer meet technical requirements and are not completely safe, Der Standard writes. The new generation of spacesuits from Russia Orlan-ISS, which have already been tested and are being used in space, can solve the problem.
Space technologies are associated with the future, but in fact are largely stuck in the past, Der Standard writes. By the end of their era, American shuttles flew with hopelessly outdated and insufficiently powerful on-board computers, and the Russian program of the Soyuz ships was based on constantly updated technologies developed back in the Soviet era. The spacesuits, which are still used by astronauts of the ISS for work in outer space, are also not the last word of technology.
“The spacesuits used on the ISS were developed more than 40 years ago, and their 15-year-old design is very outdated,” a group of experts from NASA said recently. In this case, NASA noted that the older the spacesuits, the higher the risk for astronauts.
In this regard, the publication recalls the incident that occurred five years ago with the Italian cosmonaut Luca Parmitano. He was in outer space when his American spacesuit almost led to the tragedy: first the carbon dioxide sensor stopped working, and then he felt the water on back of his head and it began to flood his face.
Parmitano got off with fear, but his work was interrupted. A thorough check was initiated, which revealed the critical state of American spacesuits.
Der Standard reports that now NASA is working on the creation of a new spacesuit, however, its preparation for testing may take several more years.
In the meantime, Russia has gone a step further and has already released a new model of the Orlan-ISS spacesuit with an automatic cooling system. Also, it has a special signal that warns of fluid leaks.
According to the “Roskosmos”, new materials will make the spacesuit more durable.
In the course of the last ISS operation in open space, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononeko and Sergey Prokopiev used new spacesuits – before them, the Orlan-ISS was used by other cosmonauts during their landings from the space station. During the future development of space flights not far from Moscow, American astronauts will also be able to try out the new spacesuit. According to the information cited by the publication, another Orlan-ISS will be delivered to the ISS next year.