Many world space agencies have reportedplans to develop programs aimed at the resumption of the active phase of the study of the Earth satellite. Recently, we reported that India is going to launch a lunar rover this summer, China announced plans for landing a man on the moon until 2036. In the early 2030s, Russia also gathered to the Earth satellite in a manned manner. However, the United States plans to do this faster, promising to return its astronauts there already in 2024. And although now everyone is mainly discussing what to fly and how to land, the main question is not at all this. More importantly, what astronauts and astronauts can do it.
According to Nikolai Moiseev, an expert inspacesuit with more than 30 years of experience, which turned to the publication of RIA "Novosti", this issue is not the last few decades, almost no one has dealt.
Since the development of the first spacesuit tested onanimals, 65 years have passed. During this time, people were able to master not only the orbit of the Earth, but also to visit the Moon. And if the spacesuits that are used in near-Earth space are constantly being improved, then practically nobody has been engaged in lunar space all this time.
Last time the spacesuits used onThe moon, made back in the 60s. The United States had the opportunity to test them in the field, but the Soviet development has not found its application. At the moment, Moses is working in a private American company Final Frontier Design. NASA approved the company's application for the development of shoes for the new moon suit. In a conversation with the Russian edition, he told how things are now in the field of space-building and what opportunities different countries of the world have in this matter. It turns out that Russia is noticeably lagging behind its direct competitor.
According to available information, Russianengineers are going to take the Orlan spacesuit as a basis, seriously modernizing it for use on the Moon. Moiseyev considers the approach reasonable, however, in his opinion, ideally, of course, one should not recycle the orbital version, but create a fundamentally new one.
The dangers of the lunar environment
The temperature range on the moon is much wider thanboard the International Space Station. The temperature can vary from -170 to +120 degrees Celsius. According to Moiseyev, at the moment there are no durable materials capable of withstanding such drops. Not so long ago it was reported about the plans of the European Space Agency to develop a new material for spacesuits that can withstand long hours of work on the surface of the Moon, but these works are just beginning. According to Moses, the materials that were used in spacesuits for the astronauts to go to the moon are not intended for repeated use on the satellite surface, since they were designed for a short-term one-time exit.
"For the moon is very important thermal protection: the outer layer, which will protect the inner layers and the person from all extreme temperatures," - quotes the source expert.
"Unlike weightlessness in orbit around the eartha factor like dust appears on the moon. It is all-pervading, electrically charged, and it sticks. Accordingly, the outer layer of the suit should have some kind of coating. At best, it should not absorb dust, and at best - repel, ”the engineer adds.
Cosmic radiation protection
Dust and temperature are not the only factors withwhich the moon suit will have to cope with. According to Moiseyev, the degradation of the material will be significant. This will contribute not only to natural wear and temperature gradation, but also cosmic radiation.
"Radiation outside the Earth’s magnetic fieldsignificant. You can not just take the spacesuit from the orbital station and move some modifications to the moon. Electronics will fail. There the radiation situation is completely different, ”explains the engineer.
To work in the lunar environment will requirethe use of other electronics, with a high degree of protection against any level of radiation. According to the expert, the problem, at least for Russia, is that all this electronics is produced only in the USA.
“It is all done in the USA. How to solve this issue in Russia, I don't know, ”says Moiseyev.
It does not exclude the possibility of development inthis direction, but they, apparently, are not advertised. Thus at the moment we can say that the modern spacesuit does not have serious radiation protection.
“The set of materials of which they are composed, in some weak way protects, but the spacesuits do not have special radiation protection,” explains the engineer.
Another problem to be solved isthe development of a fairly lightweight spacesuit. Despite the fact that gravity on the satellite is six times lower than the Earth's, it is important to solve the problem of the weight of the future spacesuit. The weight of each spacesuit used on the ISS is about 120 kilograms. On the Moon, these 120 kilograms will feel like 20, but ideally, the expert thinks, it is better to design a spacesuit whose weight will not exceed 90 kilograms.
“This weight was calculated long ago. The suit of the Apollo mission was 90 kilograms. On the moon, reduced gravity. This, of course, is taken into account, but there remains a mass, inertia. You still carry on yourself this heavy spacesuit with reduced gravity. If you fall, you will not get up, ”explains the specialist.
According to the expert, spacesuits for the moon in the USno one has been seriously involved yet. If several dozens of different companies volunteered as contractors for the construction of the Gateway orbital station for NASA, there were no people willing to create a new “camping vestment” for the astronauts. So now this issue is being addressed in the NASA Space Center named after Lyndon Johnson.
"Traditionally in the USA there were only two spacesuitsfirms: ILC Dover and David Clark Company. They have been working for NASA for 60 years. They have their own concepts. I must say, they are very heavy: about 140 kilograms. On the contrary, there is not a decrease, but an increase in weight. This is a serious problem, ”said Moses.
According to the expert, if the United States, as planned,will have time to create all the necessary technologies for the flight to the moon by 2024, then the astronauts will most likely use this 140-pound spacesuit. But its development is not yet complete. At the same time, tests of the new spacesuit are scheduled just a year before the official mission to the Moon.
Great weight in turn suggests thatOnly physically trained people can use these suits, but the expert believes that it will be problematic to work comfortably in them. Moiseev also noted that NASA plans to develop a new spacesuit by 2028. Perhaps it will be very different from the model in 2024, but so far no one can say that.
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