No longer will astronauts have to spend hours making sure their spacesuits fit properly for missions. Engineers are working on a suit that'll use pneumatic muscles to seal the suits shut automatically... as well as all manner of other value-adds.
David Akin and Shane Jacobs, two engineers at the University of Maryland in College Park, are aiming to create a spacesuit that will allow astronauts to be ready "in seconds," with artificial muscles not just helping to make the suit a snug fit, but also lowering the amount of exertion needed to move in space. And that's not all; their prototype also includes an in-helmet video screen and LCD spectacles (just in case the video screen isn't showing anything too exciting, we guess).
The suit is currently being tested at the university but, while we think the LCD glasses and video helmet sound cool, the idea of any kind of automated pressure system to make the suit mould itself to the astronaut's body reminds us just a little bit of this:
Here's hoping they test for a long time, just in case.
Shrink-to-fit spacesuit eases astronauts' workload [NewScientist]