How will future space suits differ from the current ones? As space is explored, footwear for astronauts is keeping pace. NASA claims their new soft boots are designed for real walking.
Currently, astronauts don’t “walk” in space. They hover and float, or their feet are placed into foot restraints so they don’t drift away. Space suits are somewhat flexible; they can bend at the knees and rotate at the waist. But no nuanced space shuffles or relay races quite yet.
Ever ahead in their thinking, NASA envisions that astronauts will go to Mars one day. With that prospect, they need to be suited up to explore alien terrain on foot or in their vehicles. NASA’s soft boots will take them there.
Photo source: http://www.nasa.gov/missions/shuttle/f_boots.html
About six and a half hours after the landing, Neil Armstrong opened the hatch of the four-legged lunar module and slowly made his way down the ladder to the lunar surface. His initial footprint was photographed. A television camera followed his every step.
Buzz Aldrin joined Neil Armstrong on the moon surface. The men bounded like kangaroos in the low lunar gravity, one sixth that of Earth’s.
The moonwalk lasted 2 hours and 19 minutes, long enough to let the astronauts test their footing in the fine and powdery surface — Mr. Armstrong noted that his boot print was less than an inch deep.
Human footsteps are noiseless on lunar soil; never to be erased for perhaps a million years.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
July 20, 1969: Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon. He and his co-pilot, Col. Buzz Aldrin planted an American flag on the lunar surface and a plaque which reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”