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After 50 years since humans first set foot on the Moon during the Apollo program, NASA is now working on the Artemis program which aims to land the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface by 2024. This program is named after another god of Greek mythology, Artemis, who is both the twin sister of Apollo and the goddess of the Moon.


To make full preparation for this long-awaited return to the Moon, NASA unveiled two new spacesuits in October. The next-generation spacesuits upgrading the classic ones worn by astronauts during the Apollo program in the 1960s and 1970s give astronauts more comfort and mobility on the Moon. Here are some highlights of the new spacesuits.

为了给这次期待已久的重返月球计划做好充分准备,NASA在十月份公布了两款新型宇航服。新一代宇航服对20世纪六七十年代“阿波罗计划” 所使用的的经典款宇航服进行了升级,更加舒适、灵活。下面一起来看看本次公布的新款宇航服有哪些亮点吧!

Improve Mobility


During the Apollo program, astronauts had to bunny hop on the surface of the Moon and could easily stumble due to the limited mobility of their suits, which led to low efficiency and could cause unimaginable danger. The new suits with advanced materials and flexible bearings allow for a greater range of movement at the waist, arms and legs. Astronauts will be able to reach across their body, perform squats and even bend down to pick up a rock and then lift it overhead. Now humans are really going to be able to walk rather than jump on the surface of the Moon.


Dust-tolerant design


On the Moon, astronauts have to contend with various environmental challenges. One of the biggest concerns is lunar dust. Engineers working for Moon landing missions worried that the powdery lunar dust wouldn't be stable enough to support the lunar lander or even astronauts walking on it. But after Apollo missions, they realized that there is a greater hazard which might be caused by the dust. The dust on the Moon composed of tiny glass-like shards can stick to surfaces of the spacesuits and even work its way into every nook and cranny. Once it infiltrates the suits’ life support systems, the astronauts’ health and safety can be seriously threatened. To keep the dust out, the new spacesuits are designed to have fewer seams and no zippers. Besides, the flexible parts of the suits are made from as many as 16 layers of advanced material which perform different functions including protecting astronauts from space dust.


Upgraded communications system


Astronauts no longer have to wear the so-called “Snoopy caps” which are given the name because they look like the aviator cap worn by the cartoon character. These communications caps, though having a cute name, can become sweaty and uncomfortable and their microphones do not always track well with the astronauts’ movements. The upgraded communications system includes multiple, embedded, voice-activated microphones that automatically pick up the astronauts’ voices when they speak, enabling them to communicate more efficiently with other crew members and mission control.


More sizes and better customization


Earlier this year, NASA had to cancel the first all-female spacewalk because the agency didn’t have enough medium-sized suits to fit both of the women aboard the International Space Station. Now, the new suits are designed to give the wearer a customized fit whatever their size. Besides, each astronaut will have a full body, 3D scan while wearing the suit and performing basic motions and postures expected during spacewalks. That can help NASA match the astronaut to the best suit components to ensure that they are given the greatest comfort and the broadest range of motion.

今年, NASA不得已取消了国际空间站首次全女性太空行走计划,部分原因就在于无法提供两套女性宇航员合身的中号宇航服。本次全新推出的新一代宇航服则可以为不同身材的宇航员量身定制。另外,每位宇航员还将身着宇航服接受一项全身3D扫描,在接受扫描的过程中,他们需要做出太空行走时可能会做的动作和姿势,这样一来,NASA便可以为每位宇航员定制最适合他们的宇航服组件,最大程度地确保他们身穿宇航服时感到舒适,并且能够做出更多动作。

What do you think of NASA’s new spacesuits? Do you have any idea of other innovative features that can be added to the future-generation spacesuits?



bearing n. 轴承

contend with (a problem/difficulty)


shard n. 碎片

every nook and cranny 每个角落

infiltrate v. 渗入;潜入


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  • 来源:互联网 2019-12-06