Encyclopedia Astronautica

American space suit, tested 1985. The AX-5 high pressure, zero prebreathe hard suit was developed at NASA Ames Research Center in the 1980s. It achieved mobility through a constant volume, using a hard metal/composite rigid exoskeleton design.

Although this minimized the torque required to bend the joints, it made the suits heavy and potentially uncomfortable to wear. Typically hard suits required additional internal padding for astronauts in order to reduce the risk of injury due to contact with the hard interior of the suit. While NASA struggled to develop such space suits, the commercial deep sea diving community developed hard, pod-like suits at an order-of-magnitude less cost and used them routinely and successfully.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Space Suits To explore and work in space, human beings must take their environment with them because there is no atmospheric pressure and no oxygen to sustain life. Inside the spacecraft, the atmosphere can be controlled so that special clothing is not needed. But in order to work outside the spacecraft, humans need the protection of a spacesuit. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • NASA Ames American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Ames, USA. More...

  • Pitts, Bradley; Brensinger, Cam; Saleh, Joseph; Carr, Chris; Schmidt, Patricia; Newman, Dava, Astronaut Bio-Suit for Exploration Class Missions, NIAC Phase I Report, 2001.

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