New Boots for Walking on Mars

 

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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.

 

http://nasaexplores.nasa.gov/show2_articlea.php?id=03-061

Photo source:  http://www.nasa.gov/missions/shuttle/f_boots.html

 

 

Staying Physical Fit in Space

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Maintaining strong muscles is a big enough challenge on Earth. It is much harder to do in space where there is no gravity. 

So, how do astronauts stay fit in space? They can’t simply lift dumbbells. To minimize the physiological effects of microgravity, NASA has equipped the International Space Station (ISS) with specialized fitness equipment:

  • COLBERT –  a space treadmill  
  • CEVIS –  a stationary bike
  • ARED –  a device that simulates weightlifting

Astronauts spend up two-and-a-half hours a day working out on the ISS. Even with this regime, those who spend long periods in space return to Earth with muscular atrophy, cardiovascular deconditioning, and bone loss that can be difficult to reverse. According to NASA, 180 days in space can decrease:

  • muscular strength by 11 to 17 percent
  • muscular endurance by 10 percent
  • bone mineral density by two to seven percent.

 

Quoting and photo source:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422096,00.asp

Announcing the First Footstep on the Moon

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 “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.”

 

Sources:

http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/news/15-of-the-most-iconic-newspaper-headlines-ever-printed/

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/apollo11_40th.html