If I were a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, I would dress like this all the time.


Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, 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.

Newman's prototype suit is a revolutionary departure from the traditional model. Instead of using gas pressurization, which exerts a force on the astronaut's body to protect it from the vacuum of space, the suit relies on mechanical counter-pressure, which involves wrapping tight layers of material around the body. The trick is to make a suit that is skintight but stretches with the body, allowing freedom of movement.

Key to their design is the pattern of lines on the suit, which correspond to lines of non-extension (lines on the skin that don't extend when you move your leg). Those lines provide a stiff "skeleton" of structural support, while providing maximal mobility.

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41 Responses:

  1. belgand says:

    Is she, like Barbarella, going to fuck her way across the galaxy? I think this is the crucial question and scenario that we ought to encourage in attractive MIT geeks everywhere.

    • I think that the research team could get more grant money by licensing use of these biosuits to the porn industry...

      • chrisbert says:

        Good idea! There's an opportunity there to study both microgravity sexual positions, and microgravity stain removal. ;-)

    • boldra says:

      I feel a Zap Brannigan quote is called for:

      "We have failed to uphold Brannigans law, however I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?"

      • peristaltor says:

        About that quote: It is deliberately mis-punctuated. Using the nouns and verbs as clues, it "should" read:

        . . . I did make it with a hot alien babe, and in the end. Is that not what man has dreamt of since he first looked up at the stars?

        After Zap made that statement, the screen paused before going to end credits. That paused forced me to note that, indeed, there was a joke in there somewhere, and I started reviewing the sentence.

        Groening is God.

  2. bifrosty2k says:

    I wonder if Barbarella likes it IDB?

  3. pozorvlak says:

    The feminist in me is simply outraged that they're showing off their space suit with pictures of a cute girl's butt. Outraged, I tell you.

    • jwz says:

      That's Doctor Butt to you.

    • ciphergoth says:

      That cute girl being of course Professor Dava Newman herself. She's doing serious, productive, original research into materials science and space exploration. It's not her fault that we're all perving off on her posing in skintight spandex.

      It looks like great clubwear. Though probably a little warm...

      • pozorvlak says:

        Ah, right. Carry on, then. Jolly good.

        Actually, I reckon the perving is probably entirely within her plan, as a way of gaining greater exposure (ahem) for her research. She had to work hard to get her butt looking that good in a space-suit. All in the name of Science, of course.

      • divergio says:

        The actual spacesuits would have powerful temperature regulation if they were to be worn on the moon, so in rev2 I imagine she could take it to the club.

        • At least in the 30 year ago version, the suit is a mesh, and you sweat for temperature regulation.

          • wikkit42 says:

            Lunar ones were chilled with a water loop that was chilled via sublimation of ice. Recent ones are probably more complicated. I doubt any built for EVA would be passively cooled as you say.

            • The space activity suit that was the basis for this suit was sweat cooled. It should work just fine, not quite as efficient as evaporation of ice, but you save on not having to have expensive regulation.

              • wikkit42 says:

                The space activity suit has never been in space. If you read Webb's reports, they were assuming that the suit would reflect all solar radiation, which many not always be the case. In some tests, the core body temperature of the subjects went up.

    • quercus says:

      The next Shuttle will presumably have a "No Fat Chicks" nozzle-sticker.

      • fu3dotorg says:

        or one that says "NASA; -It's a privilege, not a right," mayhaps.

        -Is that a "DOOM [parallel-port] force feedback,/rumble pack" on her back? --You know; the game accessory they (allegedly) pulled early in production because it broke ribs or something like that.(?)

        Nice, tho.

      • drakkenfyre says:

        How many fat chicks (or guys) have YOU seen on space missions? I haven't seen any.

  4. I have always asked for real data research about sex in space and I have yet to get anyone to tell me anything about it. Did they even did tests? @,@:

  5. 0acideyes0 says:

    dave numan is looking hot.

  6. I'd hit it, although it looks like by the time you manage to get that suit off, the mood may have already passed.

  7. I want to know what happens around the feet - because clearly scuffed trainers are not the way to go in space.

    Obviously what we need is thigh high boots.

  8. jkonrath says:

    Sounds like someone's been cribbing ideas from those Kim Stanley Robinson books...

  9. fantasygoat says:

    Ready in 10 years? Bah. Let me know when it's ready tomorrow.

  10. That's gonna need a butt flap.

  11. You ALREADY DO kinda dress along the same line, mister inflata-nipple.

  12. amaesan says:

    Key to their design is the pattern of lines on the suit, which are expressly designed to prevent... camel toe.

  13. krick says:

    Does this remind anyone of the space suit worn by Julia Robert's character "Anna Scott" in Notting Hill?

    I can't find a picture of it on thar interwebs, but those of you who have seen the movie know what I'm talking about.