Trope-a-Day: Latex Space Suit

Latex Space Suit: Yep, these (‘skinsuits’, as opposed to ‘hardsuits’) are in common use – by the civilian spacer, anyway, who has no use for, for example, vacuum-sealed hardshell combat armor – although without the ridiculous semi-Stripperiffic elements (Sheer, you say? Heh. That fabric may contain pores, but it also contains MEMS, computer mesh, wound gel vacuoles…) a lot of media justifies them with, and have been in said use right from the earliest days when the Spaceflight Initiative conducted its feasibility studies for Project Phoenix.

spacesuitThey actually look pretty similar to the prototype of such a spacesuit that Dr. Dava Newman is developing at MIT (illustrated at right), although having smartglass around to provide an infinitely configurable variable filter plus display surface lets them use somethng much more like the classic “clear bubble helmet” *there*. Add a small support/systems backpack, and you’ve got it.

Further information on this general type of spacesuit is, of course, available at Atomic Rocket. In the Imperials’ version, though, I should note further that:

  • Skillful use of smart-fabric (a long way from literal latex) and MEMS for mechanical assistance has got the prebreathing/breathing mix problems down to an irreducible minimum, in modern suits at least.
  • Integrated and self-motile nanofluids have replaced the awkward necessity of stuffing clay (see above link) into relevant places, at least once you overcome any squeamishness at the way the stuff crawls over you to get there.

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