• Welcome to the new COTI server. We've moved the Citizens to a new server. Please let us know in the COTI Website issue forum if you find any problems.

Newer Vacc Suits

Much nicer than that old vacc suit smell.

pprrrruuuupppp - oops, pardon me :eek:
Old idea. Google on "Space Activity Suit".

In the 1950s the Air Force issued high altitude suitsn which were close fitting and had hoses runing doen the outside of the arms, legs, and torso. When you pressurize the tubes it pulls the fabric suit tight providing the mechanical counter-pressure.

In the 1960s NASA replaced the canvas and tubes with a spandex long-john. Tests, including human volunteers in vacuum chambers, were very successful. But, according to the late G. Harry Stein, the Astronaut corps refused to wear a "leotarsd" and insisted on "space armor".

The theoretical advantage to fabric conterpressure suits (beside light weight) is being able to regulate body heat by sweating. In the first Gemini spacewalks were disasterous and the astronauts overheated. They forgot that space acts aas a Thermos.

In the SAS sweat passes through fabic and evaporates in the vaccuum, which cools you.In current suits you have to wear a liquid cooled undergarment and about half of that gigantic backpack is cooling.

Tnis is why I don't think a "spray-on" suit will work, since you can't sweat through it. same for suits designed to protect you from environmental hazards. Try jogging for two miles in a zipped-up wetsuit, but not without medical assistance.

IMTU there are two "space suits". The Vaccuum Suit is skintight fabric with a beathing helmet. For EVA put on gloves and a thick coverall with elbow and knee pads. A lot of spacecrew, including the Navy, wear the undersuits 24/7.

My Vaccuum suits povide no protection against corrosive, very hot, or very cold atmospheres. For those inhospitable places I have all-environment suits, which can also act as diving suits down to 100m+. Combat Armor and Battledress are also all-environment suits
Bob, I'm not sure why you could not sweat through an appropriate spray on material. Neoprene presents certain problems, as a rubber. If the material was more like (but not exactly like) a goretex fabric, then maybe this would be feasible.

Jogging in a wetsuit isn't impossible, just reminds me a lot of jogging in the charcoal lined chemsuits from when I was in the Army. You can do it, you just sweat buckets. It isn't comfortable, and your fluid and electrolyte consumption has to go up, but you can manage.

Still, I think there ought to be a way to manage this. And work in space may always map somewhat to work in the Arctic - never break a sweat if you can avoid it.

Your suit model sounds a lot like mine. The tailored vacc suit is like the more rugged duty version of the skinsuit.
I don't think I'd wear a skin suit on an EVA. While it may provide vacuum protection, that's only one of the dangers of open space. Gamma rays or space debris are a real danger.
Gamma rays not so much. Large quantities of beta particles, however...

In deep space, with 1g/cm^2 of shielding (18 kilograms to cover the entire body), you'll take several rads an hour, which isn't particularly healthy but is probably tolerable for short periods. Wearing a skin suit at 0.1g/cm^2, your skin will be absorbing a dose on the order of 100 rads/hr, which is definately unsafe (stuff further in absorbs less, of course, because your skin provides some shielding).

In low orbit about a world with a strong magnetic field, radiation levels are much lower, and a skinsuit is probably ok for short periods, unless there's an orbital debris problem.
Of course, how dangerous that absorption is would depend a little on wether it is coupled with alternate radiation blocking techniques and how well your system could be flushed. Maybe nanotech or other Imperial tech could flush the radioactive influences out of your system or prevent them from harming you.

A skinsuit may also be something like an emergency vacc suit until you can get to a full fledged one, just easier to wear shipboard. It sort of 'fills a gap' if you will. And there you have the hull to protect you. It just means if someone jumps your ship and holes it, you might have a chance to survive.
I don't think the "skin suit" is likely to be worn by itself. At the very least, you need a padded coverall to keep you from being burned or chilled by contact with other objects. And to protect the suit fom damage.

Adding extra armor is certinly reasonable. But a s-suit will be easier to move in than a presurized suit with c-v joints. And it makes dealing with heat issues much easier.

I suspect the s-suit will be worn under a jacket and pants inside, adding the coverall for EVA. And exra layers for radiation defene.
A skin suit might be worn as an undergarment for safety purposes -- while going outside of the ship in a skinsuit is a good way to get cooked, it would be perfectly helpful for dealing with low pressure inside the ship.
I hadn't thought of it really, but layering is popular now for outdoors stuff. A layering concept might work very well for this - a close fitting pressure sleeve that you can (in extremis) use as a short duration vacc suit to let you get to your actual vacc suit or armour, then other layers overtop as required to add armour, radiation protection, exoskeleton with tools/strength boost, etc.

That makes so much sense, I may have to use it!