The lives of NASA astronauts could soon become a lot easier. The space agency recently chose three projects from the Rhode Island School of Design to back up and utilize in future space explorations.
The RISD Space Design club submitted several projects to the BIG Idea Challenge and, to their surprise, NASA didn’t choose just one but three that could change things in space.
The first one is a space-dust repeller. If you didn’t know, space dust – also called regolith – can be very damaging to astronaut suits and equipment. Even worse, it can damage their lungs in time. So, TEST-RAD is a way to eliminate that dreadful scenario by keeping dust away from astronauts’ bodies.
Made from densely-packed fibers, it has the ability to produce a charge that can reject the regolith. The designers and engineers will work on this device remotely to be able to test it first on objects that could be taken in outer space. So, before the space-dust repeller can be vouched for, it will have to show its efficiency on things like camera lenses and battery covers.
And, RISD believes, it might even prove its usefulness on Earth, in places like mines where workers’ health is at risk.
Another eye-catching project proposed by RISD is an AR headset. The augmented reality headset’s purpose is to project data, maps and other vital info on the astronaut’s helmet in real time. This way, the user would have a larger sense of independence and could easily see things like oxygen levels, map indications and more.
The first proposal drafts will end up on NASA’s desk this autumn. Until then, the team will have to work remotely to put their ideas together.