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We have a fantastic space suit design, just ask MMAC, our model astronaut. MMAC stands for Mars Model for Astronaut Challenge. MMAC is a visual aid to help explain our ideas. We have five interesting ideas for our Martian space suit. These ideas will help the NASA astronauts furvive on Mars.
Our first idea is to help prevent the build up of static electricity in space. We are going to put needles one half centimeter long on the antenna. They are ultra-thin and made of tunsten wire. This wire is currently in a pathfinder's rover design. We think the static electricity will be created when the astronaut walks and will travel upward and go to the antenna. Then it will bleed off into Mars' thin atmosphere.
Our next idea is less complex than the first. Because astronauts need to move their legs, knees,elbows, and arms, we decided to make elbow and knee bearings on the suit. This ida was two-fold, one reason is the astronaut will be able to glide, move around with ease in space. Secondly, it will mke the bulky heavy suit more relaxing and comfortable. This will be helpful because the astronauts will move around easier and be more relaxed while taking their journey to the unknown Mars.
This idea also has to do with moving around in space just like our elbow and knee bearings. But these are on the soles of the astronauts space boots. We will put one centimeter by one and a half centimeter rubber spikes on the soles of the astronauts boots. It will help them stay longer on Mars. If they stay longer they would also be able to find more things and it would advance their knowledge of Mars.
Our next experiment is not for gliding but so the astronauts can see better than they have in the past. Our next idea is a UV protection for the helmet visor. It will protect their eyes from the harsh, bright sun on Mars. Because there is no atmosphere on Mars there is a larger UV radiation, that is another reason why we decided to add these to MACC.
Our last idea is less complex than the other four but just if not more important. Because there are dust and solar storms on Mars, the astronauts bone marrow cells are vulnerable. These parts are your hips, sternum, thighs, shoulders, and the skull. So we put a thin strip of a non flammable material (Teflon) to protect them from the storms. You can see on our model astronaut (MMAC) who has red cloth on those vulnerable parts.
As 7th grade Science students we are intrigued to see if you send our space suit up it it will work. We spent endless amounts of time on this project and hope you enjoy it and MMAC! We hope that our thoughts and ideas may help you with your latest expedition to Mars. I know our team learned some very interesting and unique facts on Mars. Perhaps after reading this you did too. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to look over our project and read our essay. We hope you enjoy it.
NASA Official: Mark León
Last Updated: May 2005
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