A group of companies in the Italian textile industry, headed by RadiciGroup, has created the first spacesuit for analogue simulation for the Space Medicine Operations (SMOPS) Mars mission. This endeavor was promoted and organized by Mars Planet, Curno/Italy – the Italian chapter of the Mars Society – under the patronage of the Italian Space Agency, Rome.
The SMOPS analogue mission is mainly focused on space medicine: health monitoring and development of support technologies. RadiciGroup, Grandino/Italy, supplied the materials and coordinated the development of the technologies needed to realize technical wear for extreme environmental conditions.
The team developed and produced 3 items of technical wear, featuring high health, comfort and performance standards. The undergarment set consists of a long-sleeve shirt and shorts made with polyamide warp-knit Sensitive Fabrics from Eurojersey SpA, Caronno Pertusella/Italy, to ensure comfort and breathability. The shirt is equipped with electrical circuitry and sensors designed to measure the vital signs and geospatial parameters of the astronauts, which can be detached for washing.
A comfortable flight suit is made lighter by eliminating all superstructure. The double-sided stitching allows for reducing thickness to the minimum and improving mobility and lightness by 30%. The garment has very good skin contact properties with good elasticity and high breathability. The suit is also dustproof, offers UV protection and ensures good thermal resistance. It is made up of several layers designed for use in extreme environmental conditions and situations. The suit also has an aerogel layer for further protection and layers of wool and PA padding for effective thermal insulation.
From April 10-23, 2022, the spacesuits will be used in a series of experiments carried out at the Mars Desert Research Station in the state of Utah/USA, will simulate the life and work conditions mission crews will face on the Martian surface.