Thanks to students at North Carolina State University (my alma matter), looking like a tool may extend beyond the surly bonds of Earth. Their “Space Snuggie” concept could shield future astronauts from radiation.
Officially called the “Lunar Textshield,” this wearable blanket is made from a lightweight polymer material that has a layer of radiation shielding that deflects or absorbs harmful rays. The skin of the blanket also contains solar cells that help to generate electricity.
If NASA wants to make a permanent base on the moon, the question of how to protect our astronauts from radiation for extended periods of time needs to be addressed. Fabric like this could be the answer—but the fate of the project won’t be known until NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace RASC-AL competition concludes during a forum held from June 1st-3rd. Projects entered into the competition could wind up travelling with astronauts on future moon exploration missions. [Networkworld via Digg]