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The tech we need for Deep Space exploration

Z-2 spacesuits

Spacesuits for Mars will need to be both flexible and self-healing. Image credit: Nasa Advanced Concepts Lab/POC: Alberto Bertolin

More people on the Moon might be pie in the sky for now, but it looks probable that astronauts will be sent to both an asteroid (in the 2020s) and to Mars (in the 2030s). That can only happen if new spacesuits are developed.

Why? Those used on the ISS, and by all astronauts, were designed for weightless environments, and while the Moon has just 16% the gravity of Earth, Mars has 62%. Moving around, bending and flexing suddenly becomes not only possible, but critical for survival. Cue Nasa's Z-2 spacesuits, which allow just that, as well as using e-Ink, self-healing polymers and memory foam, and featuring sensors galore.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),