MarsNews.com
July 17th, 2007

One giant leap for space fashion: MIT team designs sleek, skintight spacesuit Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In the 40 years that humans have been traveling into space, the suits they wear have changed very little. The bulky, gas-pressurized outfits give astronauts a bubble of protection, but their significant mass and the pressure itself severely limit mobility.
Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, wants to change that.
Newman is working on a sleek, advanced suit designed to allow superior mobility when humans eventually reach Mars or return to the moon. Her spandex and nylon BioSuit is not your grandfather’s spacesuit–think more Spiderman, less John Glenn.
Traditional bulky spacesuits “do not afford the mobility and locomotion capability that astronauts need for partial gravity exploration missions. We really must design for greater mobility and enhanced human and robotic capability,” Newman says.

July 19th, 2006

Team envisions exploring Mars with mini probes Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT engineers and scientist colleagues have a new vision for the future of Mars exploration: a swarm of probes, each the size of a baseball, spreading out across the planet in every direction. Thousands of probes, powered by fuel cells, could cover a vast area now beyond the reach of today’s rovers, including exploring remote and rocky terrain that large rovers cannot navigate. “They would start to hop, bounce and roll and distribute themselves across the surface of the planet, exploring as they go, taking scientific data samples,” said Steven Dubowsky, the MIT professor of mechanical engineering who is leading the research team.