As of Wednesday, August 23, 2017
MIT's Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit, photo from Popular Science
Researchers at MIT are working on a new spacesuit that will help astronauts stave off bone loss during the prolonged exposure to zero gravity during long space flights.
The suits are engineered (hello, stirrup pants!) to put more pressure on the legs to replicate the effects of normal earth gravity. NASA has been looking for ways to slow the rate of bone loss in space. The writers at Popular Science cite a NASA study that found astronauts on the International Space Station lose up to 2.7 percent of the interior bone material for each month spent in space. For now, the astronauts have exercises to help retain bone mass, but MIT’s Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit, developed by the school’s Man-Vehicle Laboratory, could provide even more protection during long space missions.
PopSci sniffs “this new Spiderman-style suit may not win astronauts a spot in the fashion hall of fame,” but I disagree. Sure, I’d want it in black, but I suspect that’s a generational preference. Plus, with Disney’s “Tron” reboot set to open on Dec. 17 (and a “Tron”-themed pop-up shop opening at Royal/T in Culver City on Dec. 19), the timing seems right for astronaut-chic.
"The Jetsons" (1962)