MIT BioSuit a new take on traditional spacesuits

Posted at 10:08 AM, Sep 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-19 11:08:44-04

It's got to be hard for an astronaut to move in space. Space suits are big and bulky, in part because they're gas-pressurized. 

Enter MIT's BioSuit, which NASA helped fund. See how lightweight it looks? The idea is to replace gas pressurization with coils of wire that are actively compressing the material.

Or — as Gizmodo put it — "shrinkwrapping" our astronauts.

It's actually a borrowed technique from this heat-activated robotic worm MIT introduced in 2012.

MIT calls it a "second-skin" spacesuit and explains the coils tighten — and stay tight — when heated to a toasty temperature.

Which begs the question — would the suit overheat the astronaut wearing it? Possibly, but MIT researchers say big battery packs could help counteract that. Then again, that would defeat the mobility advantage of a lightweight suit.

Find out more with this Newsy video.