"Most of the National Air and Space Museum’s collection of about 300 spacesuits is here, laid out five high on steel racks in a climate-controlled room. Each is protected by a sheet of muslin, giving the room the eerie feel of a morgue or the final resting place of members of an odd space cult. [...] The spacesuits will get their due next spring, in a traveling exhibition of full-size photographs and X-ray images organized by the Smithsonian. (Most of the suits -- especially their rubber components, which have become brittle over the decades -- are too fragile to be displayed.) Last month, a few of the people who know most about spacesuits gathered at the museum for a panel discussion about the design decisions and trade-offs that went into creating these most personal of space-race artifacts. “A lot of it is engineering,” Joseph J. Kosmo, a senior project engineer with NASA who has designed spacesuits for nearly 50 years, said in an interview. “But a lot of it is art, too.” At its most basic, a spacesuit is meant to perform two nearly incompatible functions: protect the astronaut from the harsh environment of space, and allow the wearer to maneuver and work comfortably."Lovely stuff!
21 December 2010
Spacesuits ~ Engineering Astronaut Attire!
Wonderful piece in the NYTimes by Henry Fountain on The Right Stuff to Wear about astronaut spacesuits designs over the years!