If you’re an avid biker than you would have heard of the Italian company called Dainese who make some serious protective gear for motorcyclists.
What you didn’t know is that they’ll also be making the space suits for the first manned mission to Mars earmarked for 2030.
Two new suits already exist which have been designed in collaboration with NASA and the ESA (European Space Agency) to help keep the Mars astronauts safer in space.
The collaboration didn’t come via pure luck though. NASA noticed that Dainese had been working with hospitals to study the way in which humans moved via the different lines that travelled throughout the body. They approached Dainese for their data via a collaboration with MIT and have since produced the Biosuit seen in the images.
Looking very similar to what Matt Damon wore in The Martian the Biosuit is one of the world’s most advanced compression suits. The lines which extend across the suit are filaments which represent the lines of non-extension – or more simply, the lines of the body which don’t stretch or contract when it is moving.
These lines can be mechanically pressurised to compress against the body to provide more rigid protection without sacrificing mobility.
The ESA added another challenge to Dainese, explaining that their astronauts were coming back from space and being put into wheelchairs because of herniating discs due to zero gravity elongating their spines.
This gave birth to suit number two: the Skinsuit. Not as flashy as the Biosuit but just as important, the Skinsuit features four-way elastic stretch material whilst the upper section remains rigid. Compression from the shoulders to the feet help to recreate the effects of gravity on the wearer.
The suit’s designer Michael Brasca told Jalopnik that the company intends to use the compression technology in their latest touring motorcycle gear.