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Daily-wear environment suit for citizen scientist research

Mass observation
  [vote for,

Your species appears to be contemplating sending humans to other objects in your system, without bothering to take the obvious step of developing an efficient non-Newtonian spacedrive beforehand.

Oh well, don't say you weren't warned.

However, visiting Mars, one of the more obvious destinations, is going to require humans to spend a lot of time in environment suits.

These are under development, and indeed are being tested.

But the sample is small.

The problems of day-to-day wear of environment suits need to be established, and the simple route is to recruit citizen scientists.

A not-for-profit organization would be set up to promote the idea. The project could be fronted by real astronauts and cosmonauts, plus highly credible academics, scientists and engineers, such as Stephen Hawking (but not, gods help us, Brian bloody Cox. Not him, please).

Suit design guidelines would be publically available so that participants can build their own (indeed would be encouraged to do so, to promote innovation) , and some components and full suits would be available "off the peg".

The suits would need to be realistic - bulky, limiting, heavy, with tough boots and thick, clumsy gloves - and this would somehow need to be independently verified. The backpack would genuinely contain basic life-support and communications units (represented by a mobile phone) - the suit would actually supply filtered, dehumidified air to the wearer. Its weight would be calculated so that the load carried by the wearer would be the equivalent to that on Mars. There could possibly be heating/cooling systems, and issues such as drinking and waste elimination would be addressed.

And then ? Well, the citizen scientists go about their day to day lives, in all weathers. But things like gardening, walking the dog, and vacuuming the car, would be carried out in the suit. Perhaps there might be a "mission profile" - timed limited, or specific activities - set by the organizing body.

Wearers would record their experiences on bodycams, and fill out reports to clarify details.

The rest of the planet will soon become accustomed to humans wandering round in environment suits - and they'll get a nice armband to wear, and perhaps the equivalent of scout badges for "missions" accomplished - after all, they aren't being paid, and are likely to be subjected to a fair bit of public ridicule.

8th of 7, Sep 12 2017

A former winner of a free trip to Mars http://host.madison...6-001cc4c03286.html
Did not need to wear an environment suit for a long time, however. [Vernon, Sep 12 2017]

About radiation reaching Martian surface https://www.space.c...uriosity-rover.html
For anyone wanting more info about something mentioned in an annotation [Vernon, Sep 13 2017]


       Sign on the back of such a suit: "If I wear this long enough, I'll earn a free trip to Mars!"   

       Perhaps that would reduce the ridicule factor.
Vernon, Sep 12 2017

       This is actually a good idea as different companies would start making the spacesuits driving technology improvement.
beanangel, Sep 12 2017

       How about a double-layered suit? The inner layer is a prototype suit such as you describe, while the outer layer serves to surround it with a simulated Martian atmosphere, permitting active research into the possible failure modes of the inner suit.
Wrongfellow, Sep 12 2017

       // surround it with a simulated Martian atmosphere, //   

       0.15 Bar pressure, and almost no free oxygen ...?   

       // permitting active research into the possible failure modes of the inner suit. //   

       ... many of which would result in the rapid decease of the wearer.   

       A small positive pressure in the suit would be good, adding to the realism.
8th of 7, Sep 12 2017

       Unfortunately, the presence of flammables would be minimized (-)
normzone, Sep 12 2017

       //load carried by the wearer would be the equivalent to that on Mars//   

       Wouldn't this require the suit somehow to weigh less than it actually did, to simulate weedy martian gravity?
pertinax, Sep 13 2017

       Not exactly. A real Mars suit would need radiation shielding, which adds mass, but the low Martian gravity reduces weight. It should be possible to determine a target weight for an unshielded Earth suit which at 1g corresponds to the weight of a real Mars suit.   

       Similarly, the backpack doesn't need real oxygen bottles (unless you're planning to travel on London Underground), it just needs to weigh like it does.
8th of 7, Sep 13 2017

       What ever happened to the idea of using a helmet that seals around the neck, and protecting the body with a tight-fitting mesh? Apparently skin is OKish in vacuo, as long as there's something to support it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2017

       Apart from the UV, and the ionizing radiation, and the thermal gain/loss, and the water evaporation, it should be just fine ...
8th of 7, Sep 13 2017

       Yes, but those can be managed without a suit, at least in some situations. I'm sure this was a serious proposal I read about.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2017


       " I'm sure this was a serious proposal I read about."
normzone, Sep 13 2017


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