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Australian spacesuits may negate impact of microgravity

Australian spacesuits may negate impact of microgravity

An Australian company, Human Aerospace, has teamed up with researchers from RMIT, NASA, and the European Space Agency in an ambitious project to design spacesuits to combat the effects of microgravity.

Dr James Waldie and his team at Human Aerospace have designed a full-body compression suit that places pressure from a person’s shoulders all the way down to their toes.

The team hopes the suit will play a key role in NASA’s missions to send humans to the moon for extended periods of time, and eventually even to Mars.

According to Dr Waldie, the suits are designed to mimic the “normal gravitational loading experienced when we stand here on Earth”.  


The suits are similar to those worn by athletes, however, instead of focusing on one particular part of the body, the suits are designed to provide the right amount of pressure to the body as a whole, with some parts of the suit applying more pressure where necessary. 

Prototypes of the suits were sent into space in 2015 and 2017, with astronauts on the International Space Station testing the suits for extended periods of time.

The suits are tailor-made for each individual. Each suit is fitted with straps that mimic the gravitational pull on Earth, with a tactile surface in the foot and ankle area. The tactile area stimulates the feet and ankles each time they are moved, creating a better connection to an area that is usually neglected while in space.

The aim of these compression spacesuits is to reduce the significant changes in motor skills and negative health effects created by long periods of time spent in microgravity.


Concerns exist over the potential dangers posed to astronauts stepping out onto the surface of Mars or the moon after months spent in microgravity.

Microgravity causes a reduction in muscle and bone strength and astronauts can lose the ability to feel their bodies to the same extent that we can feel our bodies on Earth.

When returning to Earth, astronauts are carried out of their capsules to prevent injury to the individual while their bodies readjust to the Earth’s gravity. Many astronauts have been known to faint or suffer other adverse health conditions in the hours and days after returning to Earth.

If these suits are successful in creating a better transition between different degrees of gravity, it will mean that the space community will be one step closer to sending humans to Mars.

Liam McAneny

Liam McAneny

Liam McAneny is a journalist who has written and edited for his University International Relations journal. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong in 2021. He joined Momentum Media in 2022 and currently writes for SpaceConnect and Australian Aviation. Liam has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations as well as astronomy.

Send Liam an email at: [email protected]

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