Researchers work on a space suit that can bring an unconscious astronaut back home

Movie lovers in space are familiar with this situation where, unconscious after hitting a debris, the astronaut / cosmonaut / astronaut slowly drifts into space for a never-ending odyssey. In real life, to secure astronauts / astronauts / astronauts on mission, American engineers at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory want to design an autonomous space suit, which could bring almost alone its owner to a spaceship for help

Credits: NASA

Not to mention disaster scenarios such as film produced several times each year (Life in 2017), astronauts sometimes find themselves disoriented or confused during their missions outside the International Space Station, due to the fact that lack of gravity and loss of landmarks, making it difficult to return to their habitat.

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The aim of the American engineers' device is therefore to unload the astronauts from these maneuvers made manually, or at least to help them return to their space habitat in complete safety. A simple push of the button "Take me home", it is his small name, would activate the autonomous feature, which would then be responsible for calculating the best possible return route for the jetpack according to several data (trajectory the more optimal, oxygen consumption, safety, etc.).

A sacred challenge

If the idea is promising, the project is nevertheless difficult, as Kevin Duda, engineer at Draper explains.

Giving astronauts direction and orientation in space is a challenge since there is no gravity; it is therefore difficult to determine where the top and the bottom are. […] Our technology could in any case improve the chances of success of a mission by ensuring that the crews are safe.

No roadmap has been given concerning this research, but a patent has already been filed.