Astronauts Need Flexible Spacesuits for Mars

The next couple of decades could see astronauts go to many places: an asteroid, the moon, even Mars.

But the current spacesuits used on the International Space Station (ISS) will likely need replacing to get those exploration jobs done, experts say.

The difficulty with today’s suits is they are designed for microgravity work. They would make walking in an environment with substantial gravity difficult, because the lower torso of the suit is stiff, and it’s difficult for the wearer to bend at the waist. Better mobility would be needed for doing geologic fieldwork, said Amy Ross, lead of the advanced pressure-garment team at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston.