Putting the Pressure On Universe Today

Mechanical Counter Pressure (MCP) technology appears to offer a number of advantages over the existing EVA suit. Says Waldie, “To protect astronauts from the vacuum of space, MCP suits substitute gas pressure with elastic compression, or mechanical pressure. The suit is comprised of different skin-tight layers, the outermost being a powerful elastic leotard capable of exerting the same pressure on the body as current space suits (about 1/3 atmospheric pressure). Only the head and part of the torso will be pressurized with breathing oxygen. Such an elastic suit would be light and provide vast improvements in flexibility and size. As rips or tears would remain a localized defect, MCP garments are also inherently safe. Furthermore, the porous nature of the materials enables perspiration to occur naturally – this means that cooling equipment is redundant.” The MCP suit will be perfect for exploration of the lunar and Mars’ surfaces, due to its increased flexibility and reduced bulk. It will also make carrying out an EVA easier for astronauts.