Textiles in Space

February 1, 2019

Here is another take on Time and Space Textiles. Their goals are a little different than what we are doing, but we are both playing with textiles in time and space!

The textile industry is called upon to help NASA prepare for its manned mission to Mars.

Since the start of human spaceflight, the U.S. space program has faced many challenges in clothing astronauts. Survival inside a spacecraft needed to be addressed first. Historically, human space exploration started with modifications of high-altitude pressure suits, which were the result of 30 years of research and development for the U.S. Army.

Crew clothing

Currently, crew clothing can be divided into two categories: the spacesuit system for outside activities and the cabin clothes for work, exercise, sleep and special occasions such as public appearances. The spacesuit assembly is a modular system: it has an upper torso, lower torso, limbs, gloves, helmet and boots.

Seeking support

Fifty years ago the textile industry produced exclusively for NASA fibers and fabrics specifically needed to go to the moon. Today, NASA needs fabrics for living in the Orion capsule and for residing on the Martian surface. While the motives for sending humans in space are different today from those in the 1960s, NASA still needs support from the textile industry. Some companies in the textile industry supported NASA to the extent of building plants to produce fibers for the space program while hoping to open other markets.

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