Scientists from MIT have designed a next-generation spacesuit that acts practically as a second skin, and could revolutionize the way future astronauts travel into space. (Photo : Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)
Astronauts are used to climbing into conventional bulky, gas-pressurized spacesuits, but this new design could allow them to travel in style. Soon they may don a lightweight, skintight and stretchy garment lined with tiny, muscle-like coils. Essentially the new suit acts like a giant piece of shrink-wrap, in which the coils contract and tighten when plugged into a power supply, thereby creating a “second skin.”
"With conventional spacesuits, you’re essentially in a balloon of gas that’s providing you with the necessary one-third of an atmosphere [of pressure,] to keep you alive in the vacuum of space," lead researcher Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, said in astatement.
"We want to achieve that same pressurization, but through mechanical counterpressure - applying the pressure directly to the skin, thus avoiding the gas pressure altogether. We combine passive elastics with active materials. … Ultimately, the big advantage is mobility, and a very lightweight suit for planetary exploration."
Newman, who has worked for the past decade on a design for the next-generation spacesuit, describes the new garment in detail in the journal IEEE/ASME: Transactions on Mechatronics.
The MIT BioSuit’s coils, which are a main feature of the outfit, are made from a shape-memory alloy (SMA). At a certain temperature, the material can “remember” and spring back to its engineered shape after being bent or misshapen.
Skintight suits are not a novel idea, but in the past scientists have always struggled with the question: how do you get in and out of a suit that is so tight? That’s where the SMAs come in, allowing the suit to contract only when heated, and subsequently stretched back to a looser shape when cooled.
Though the lightweight suit may not seem at first like it can withstand the harsh environment that is outer space, Newman and his colleagues are sure that the BioSuit would not only give astronauts much more freedom during planetary exploration, but it would also fully support these space explorers.
Newman and his team are not only working on how to keep the suit tight for long periods of time, but also believe their design could be applied to other attires, such as athletic wear or military uniforms.
"An integrated suit is exciting to think about to enhance human performance," Newman added. "We’re trying to keep our astronauts alive, safe, and mobile, but these designs are not just for use in space."
"Image Credit: Carol Rossetti
When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would become.
Thousands of shares throughout the world later, the appeal of Rosetti’s work is clear. Much like the street art phenomenon Stop Telling Women To Smile, Rossetti’s empowering images are the kind you want to post on every street corner, as both a reminder and affirmation of women’s bodily autonomy.
"It has always bothered me, the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies, behavior and identities," Rossetti told Mic via email. "It’s a kind of oppression so deeply entangled in our culture that most people don’t even see it’s there, and how cruel it can be."
Rossetti’s illustrations touch upon an impressive range of intersectional topics, including LGBTQ identity, body image, ageism, racism, sexism and ableism. Some characters are based on the experiences of friends or her own life, while others draw inspiration from the stories many women have shared across the Internet.
"I see those situations I portray every day," she wrote. "I lived some of them myself."
Despite quickly garnering thousands of enthusiastic comments and shares on Facebook, the project started as something personal — so personal, in fact, that Rossetti is still figuring out what to call it. For now, the images reside in albums simply titled “WOMEN in english!" or "Mujeres en español!" which is fitting: Rossetti’s illustrations encompass a vast set of experiences that together create a powerful picture of both women’s identity and oppression.
One of the most interesting aspects of the project is the way it has struck such a global chord. Rossetti originally wrote the text of the illustrations in Portuguese, and then worked with an Australian woman to translate them to English. A group of Israeli feminists also took it upon themselves to create versions of the illustrations in Hebrew. Now, more people have reached out to Rossetti through Facebook and offered to translate her work into even more languages. Next on the docket? Spanish, Russian, German and Lithuanian.
It’s an inspiring show of global solidarity, but the message of Rossetti’s art is clear in any language. Above all, her images celebrate being true to oneself, respecting others and questioning what society tells us is acceptable or beautiful.
"I can’t change the world by myself," Rossetti said. "But I’d love to know that my work made people review their privileges and be more open to understanding and respecting one another."”
From the site: All images courtesy Carol Rossetti and used with permission. You can find more illustrations, as well as more languages, on her Facebook page.
Oooh. I reblogged a partial version of this recently but I didn’t know how many more there were! I LOVE these!
OK SO THERE ARE TONS MORE OF THESE OF THE ARTISTS FB PAGE. GUYS THESE ARE AWESOME.
LETS APPLAUD CAROL ROSSETTI EVERYONE
REMINDER: if you have a vagina and want to use Plan B as an emergency contraceptive, it loses effectiveness if you weigh more than 165 lbs (74.84 kg) and is completely ineffective for those that weight more than 176 lbs (79.83 kg) (x)
Let me spread the shit out of this.
This is horrifying. And sadly true.
Pusheen the cat making some chemistry.
That cat is not wearing safety goggles, he hasn’t even bothered to clean up that spilled solvent, and he is holding that Erlenmeyer flask way too close to his face.
Pusheen the Cat, more like Pusheen the limits of lab safety
HERE’S A LESSON ON CONCERT ETIQUETTE
- if you dont like the opening band/artist DONT BOO just nod your head a long. dont be rude
- if someone is trying to leave the crowd fucking let them out. they could be hurt/about to pass out/etc.
- that’s literally it just dont be an uber asshat ok thanks continue on