Spider Flyer Walker Space Suit For Mars Astronauts

A spider flyer-walker robotic spacesuit for astronauts visiting the moons of Mars is being put forward - at least in a white paper outline - by Lockheed Martin.


(Spider Flyer Walker Space Suit For Mars Astronauts)

When the first astronauts arrive on Mars in the 2030s, they will not set foot on the surface of the planet. Instead, NASA wants its brave human crew in orbit around the desert world for about a year, and then return home. But that does not mean that astronauts could not explore Phobos or Deimos two small and intriguing Mars moons.

Lockheed Martin, a company that is building NASA's Orion spacecraft, recently presented a tempting arena for an exit mission: Put astronauts into an eight-legged, rocket-propelled space suit that can crawl, walk or Jump on the surface of a moon. We call it the Spider Walker pamphlet suit, Timothy Cichan, the Lockheed engineer who runs the company's Mars Exploration Planning, Business Insider. The new spatial concept is detailed in a white paper on the company Marte Campo Base architecture, which sent a representative to Business Insider.

Cichan says that the concept of Spider brochure arose from the need to keep the proposed mission to Mars from Lockheed Lean: Although NASA has a mandate to send people to Mars by 2033, and make innovative science in the process, Congress will give the agency Space budget from a relatively limited budget to work terminates. With the construction of a small space suit instead of a larger landing module, thought goes, NASA could save thousands of dollars in pounds and millions of dollars and return home with unprecedented samples of a strange world.

In Charles Sheffield's 1979 novel The Web Between the Worlds, he describes remarkable spider robots that work together to build space structures. They are effectively 3D printers.

The two great ovoid bodies were hanging near the surface of the asteroid, about a hundred meters apart. The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately a few centimeters clear of the surface. Between them, probing deep into the interior of the asteroid, was set the long proboscis. As Rob watched, the great, faceted eyes turned towards him. The Spiders were aware of his presence.

The spider flyer-walker robotic space suit reminds me also of the Osprey space armor from Salvage in Space, a 1933 short story by Jack Williamson about meteor (asteroid) miners:

He drew his right arm out of the bulging sleeve of the suit, into its ample interior, found a cigarette in an inside pocket, and lighted it. The smoke swirled about in the helmet, drawn swiftly into the air filters.

"Darn clever, these suits," he murmured. "Food, smokes, water generator, all where you can reach them. And darned expensive, too. I'd better be looking for pay metal!"
(Read more about Osprey space armor)

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