(CNN)NASA is gearing up for yet any other moon landing, and it hopes to make certain that that the following lunar spacewalk is as safe as doable with a prototype instrument centered on saving downed astronauts.
To ascertain it out, NASA and the European Location Company (ESA) are turning to the deep seas.
With its natural similarities to the bottom of the moon, the ocean ground is the splendid ambiance to simulate a lunar ambiance. Right here is why the house companies are turning to underwater habitat Aquarius in the Atlantic Ocean to lunge their assessments.
The ESA has a prototype instrument called the Lunar Evacuation Machine Meeting (LESA)
that permits a single astronaut to deploy the construction and acquire their incapacitated crewmate right into a cellular stretcher earlier than bringing them to a pressurized lander.
The whole strategy of deploying and securing their crewmate to the stretcher will need to quiet remove no longer as much as 10 minutes.
The Extravehicular Actions (EVA) suits that astronauts put on are elephantine, heavy, and enact no longer enable for a elephantine fluctuate of lunge.
“There is no longer any manner an astronaut would possibly presumably presumably lift their fallen crewmate over their shoulder whereas carrying an EVA suit,” says Hervé Stevenin, ESA’s head of spacewalk coaching and Neutral Buoyancy Facility operations. “Our impartial used to be to bring the total rescue actions into the working fluctuate of the EVA-suited astronaut to make certain that a fleet and safe rescue.
“LESA would possibly presumably presumably furthermore furthermore be transported adore a golf caddy and positioned shut to the fallen astronaut to give a lifting mechanism and a stretcher that is easy to maneuver. As soon as the rescuer has broken-down the instrument to acquire their crewmate and keep the stretcher to their encourage, they add wheels to the stretcher and transport them to security.”
An earlier prototype of the instrument
used to be examined by ESA astronaut Pedro Duque and NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren in 2017 someday of NASA mission NEEMO 22.
Participants of the NEEMO 23 crew alongside with two a ramification of astronauts — ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins — will put the following model of LESA to the take a look at at Aquarius over 9 days beginning this week.
Christoforetti and Watkins will put on EVA gloves, that are pressurized and restrict dexterity, and take a look at LESA out in an EVA house suit simulator.
“ESA has been taking part in NASA’s NEEMO missions for the previous eight years,” says Stevenin. “With our shared heart of attention on sending astronauts to stumble on the lunar ground by as early as 2024, joint sorting out by this very NEEMO 23 mission paves the manner for ability NASA-ESA cooperation.”