It’s a tautology to say that Mars isn’t the most friendly environment for human explorers. In addition to the lack of atmosphere, fluctuating temperatures and high levels of cosmic radiation, fierce storms of super-fine Martian dust could present a serious problem for bold pioneers on the Red Planet’s surface. In fact, Mars’ surface is inimical to local lifeforms, too – which is why NASA’s forthcoming Phoenix Lander will be digging beneath the surface in its hunt for indigenous microbial critters.
Via the latest Carnival of the Space Geeks hosted at Colony Worlds comes word of a new design of space suit, created by Louise Riofrio. Although, as Ms. Riofrio admits, it’s actually quite an old design, at least in principle; the suits given to the X-1 test pilots were based on the same theory of using mechanical counter-pressure as opposed to inflating the suit with air. Riofrio’s suits are allegedly lighter, safer and more comfortable than the ‘bubble suits’ currently in use … and they look a bit more stylish, too.