From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Demo 2 Mission
Mains level : Not Much
NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight has now been rescheduled for May 31, due to weather conditions. Apart from the test flight itself, what’s getting attention are the spacesuits that the astronauts will wear while travelling in the SpaceX capsule, called Crew Dragon.
Try this question from CSP 2014:
Q. Which of the following pair is/are correctly matched?
Spacecraft Purpose 1. Cassini-Huygens Orbiting the Venus and transmitting data to the Earth 2. Messenger Mapping and investigating the Mercury 3. Voyager 1 and 2 Exploring the outer solar system
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
The SpaceX spacesuit
- The so-called “Starman suits” the astronauts will wear on the Demo-2 mission have been designed by a famous Hollywood costume designer.
- The SpaceX spacesuits are different from other spacesuits typically worn by astronauts because of their sleek design and are being described as resembling a tuxedo.
- These spacesuits are meant to be lighter and more flexible, are equipped with touchscreen gloves, have vents that allow astronauts to be cooler while maintaining pressure inside the suit, and have an incorporated helmet and visor.
- The helmets of these suits are 3D printed with touchscreen-sensitive gloves and the suit is all in one piece, customised for the wearer.
How are launch-and-entry spacesuits different from EMUs?
- The SpaceX suits are only meant to be worn inside the space shuttle and are not suitable for carrying out spacewalks.
- Spacesuits for spacewalks, called Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), are heavier than launch-entry suits (LES) and are already present aboard the ISS.
- While inside the spacecraft, the atmosphere can be controlled, to explore and work in space, humans require that they take their environment with them because there are atmospheric pressure and no oxygen to sustain life.
- Such spacesuits – EMUs — are worn for spacewalks or extravehicular activities (EVA) conducted outside a space shuttle.
- These provide astronauts with oxygen supply and protect them against extreme temperatures, radiation and space dust.