Space Crisis: Astronauts' Spacesuits Are Going Out of Style

Space Crisis: Astronauts' Spacesuits Are Going Out of Style

The spacewalk by Tracy Dyson and Mike Barratt on June 24 was supposed to last several hours, but ended after 31 minutes. The NASA astronauts were on a mission to repair radio antennas outside the International Space Station, but had to turn back quickly because of a water leak in one of their suits.

An incident that, fortunately, did not end in tragedy, but it shows how much NASA relies on the smooth functioning of these spacesuits, heirs to a long tradition dating back to the beginnings of the conquest of space… and which have not evolved much since then! “The Russians still have their Orlan suits from the Soviet era, and the Americans have EMUs designed for the Space Shuttle in the 1980s,” says Jean-François Pellerin. “These are old technologies, which have had their day.”

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