I promised you some exciting news last week, so here it is! This semester our studio class will be working in collaboration with NASA engineers and designers to create prototypes of garments for astronauts to use on the Mars mission! I cannot wait! My team of two classmates and myself will be focusing on electronic textiles that the astronauts wear while inside the space station or shuttle craft. This is called a flight suit, an example of the current suit is below:
As you can see, its rather bulky and unappealing, aesthetic wise. The astronauts wear these constantly while in the shuttle and they can be awkward to wear when trying to work. Because of the anti-gravity everything floats in space, so the biggest obstacle to this project is to create quick attachment and detachment of controls, tools and displays to the suit. These have to have power supplied to them through some sort of attachment, as well as other conductors to transfer data.
I worked on an e-textiles project similar to this last semester. I blogged about the solar powered bag I designed and created a few weeks ago. I will be using some of the knowledge I gained in that project while working with NASA. If all goes well, our solar bag design will be shown in the international convention in Newcastle, United Kingdom this summer! Here is a shot of the promotional poster with our design featured!
This project with NASA will span the next three and a half month and will end with a convention in Houston, TX. Our class is being flown down to speak and present our prototypes! An amazing opportunity, I cannot wait to jump into the design process!
I will be sure to keep you updated!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design