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Space & Astronomy

NASA appears to be running out of spacesuits

May 4, 2017 | Comment icon 1 comment



What happens when NASA runs out of spacesuits ? Image Credit: NASA
There are now only eleven usable EMU spacesuits left and new ones won't be available for several years.
For astronauts heading outside the International Space Station, having a reliable, well-equipped spacesuit, or Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), available to wear is absolutely essential.

According to a recent report however, the number of available EMUs is now running so low that it seems doubtful that the supply will last until the ISS is retired in 2024.

New spacesuits are currently in the works but are not expected to be ready for several years.
"Despite spending nearly $200 million on NASA's next-generation spacesuit technologies, the Agency remains years away from having a flight-ready spacesuit capable of replacing the EMU or suitable for use on future exploration missions," the report states.

Spacesuits are particularly complicated and expensive things to produce and the ones currently in use are starting to deteriorate. As things stand, there are only four working spacesuits aboard the International Space Station and a total of seven others that are either in storage or under repair.

That leaves NASA with a mere eleven spacesuits to last the better part of a decade.



Source: Science Alert | Comments (1)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by keithisco 5 years ago
Whilst I fully understand the complex life support systems that are required in a space-suit, I never understand the enormous costs involved in anything that NASA commissions


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