Walking on the moon is no bounce in the park, but new space boots created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might make working outside a spacecraft safer for cosmonauts who is required to maneuver around pesky moon rocks and rough terrain in bulky spacesuits.
A NASA spacesuit also known as an Extravehicular Mobility Unit( EMU) is decked out with various contraptions that provide life supporting and technical assistance to cosmonauts during missions where they have to leave their spacecraft. Even without those contraptions, the suit’s 14 layers of protective material alone make it pretty heavy and difficult to maneuver when walking around in a low-gravity surrounding like the moon.
Most cosmonauts fall because spacesuits limit their ability to both ensure and feel the terrain around them, according to the MIT researchers who made the new boots. If an astronaut journeys, they risk puncturing their spacesuit and may waste time and precious oxygen reserves trying to get up.[ Gallery: The Most Memorable Spacewalks in History]
However, the new space boots from MIT have built-in sensors and tiny motors that vibrate based on the terrain to assist the wearer navigate safely around or over nearby obstacles, the MIT researchers said in a statement debuting the new shoes.