Today NASA announced some pretty worrying news, they are beginning to run out of functional spacesuits that are needed for spacewalks.
These suits were made for astronauts nearly 40 years ago and were only designed to last for just 15 years, of course, astronauts are still using them and that slowly becoming more of a problem.
The old suits have many issues from astronauts feeling a burning feeling in their eyes while wearing a suit to the gloves damaging easily, all the way up to the incident in 2013, when an astronaut nearly drowned during a spacewalk after his cooling system flooded the helmet with water.
Because of these issues and some others, only 11 of the original 18 spacesuit units remain in service.
In the report by they Office of Inspector General (OIG), it was stated these units won’t last until the station is set to retire in 2024 and they are worried that NASA’s new design won’t be ready before that time.
NASA has already spent over $300 million developing this next-gen system and have cut the funding for the development since that time, and so it is quite the big issue to solve.
In order to make sure that this issue won’t affect future crew members of the International Space Station (ISS), OIG has said that NASA’s human exploration unit needs to create a “formal plan for design, production and testing” of its next-gen spacesuits.
It has also recommended that a study is conducted to compare the costs of maintaining the current set of spacesuits to developing and testing a new spacesuit for the ISS.
As always, we will be sure to update you when we hear more.