Nov 16, 2016 | By Tess

Mars One, a Dutch organization that has ambitions to land the first humans on Mars and establish the first human colony there by 2026, has just unveiled a new design concept for a Mars-ready space suit. The suit, which could protect humans living on Mars through the most “difficult conditions,” features a modular system that would allow for 3D printed replacement parts and add-ons to be installed.

The research behind the suit’s design was recently published by Mars One in an extensive study titled “Mars One Surface Exploration Suit (SES) Conceptual Design Assessment.” In the report, the organization lays out what the sartorial requirements would be for colonists on Mars. These requirements are, as you may have guessed, somewhat rigorous.

The concept space suit, drawn up to meet those requirements, would be made from a similar material to NASA’s astronaut moon exploration gear, and would include a pressurized system to protect from external elements. The suit would also incorporate a transparent, impact-resistant helmet bubble, and would be able to protect the wearer from temperatures in the range of -128 degrees Celsius to 77 degrees Celsius.

Importantly, the Mars One concept suit is also designed to discourage microbial growth within the suit, and would be able to store drinking water and food to be used in dire situations. In terms of duration, the Mars One suit is designed to operate without a power source for at least eight hours, and integrates 45 minutes of emergency life support. Charging the suit up could take up to four hours. Additionally, in case a piece of the suit breaks or falls off, the Mars One team has envisioned putting 3D printers on the Mars colony which could print out replacement parts and even new pieces of fabric to help maintain the suits.

Of course, there are still certain challenges that must be accounted for, such as protecting the body from the planet’s red dust and solar radiation. According to Mars One, these issues are still being worked through. The suit, which reportedly takes 30 minutes to put on without assistance, and only 10 minutes with assistance, also functions as a lavatory.

Mars One concept habitats for Mars

According to Barry Finger, chief engineer at Paragon Space Development Corporation, which conducted the study, the suit’s design “makes maximal use of local Mars resources to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the crew member.”

Mars One, which was founded by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp in 2012 with the express goal of putting a human colony on Mars, has suffered some setbacks over the years. The organization, which has also faced criticism from scientists, engineers, and aerospace experts, recently pushed its 2016 goal for launching a robotic lander to 2020, though it is still hopeful it will put people on Mars by 2026.

Whether this comes to fruition at all, or whether the 3D printed suit will make it beyond the conceptual stage remains to be seen. There is one thing for sure though, 3D printing is certainly proving it will have a role to play in space travel for years to come.

​Mars One concept habitats for Mars

 

 

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Host4Dummies wrote at 11/17/2016 7:12:55 PM:

"Ganapati (elephant like human god), is one of the best-known and most worshipped gods in Hinduism." If we re-write these kind of "gods" with an "open mind" we can say these were just normal humans with some kind of exoskeleton necessary when terraforming early earth. In that time the atmosphere would have been low and clean breathing air would have been at ground level hence the long nose.



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