The U-2 has been in service for more than 50 years, but its flying suit can be used for landing on the moon

 The U-2 has been in service for more than 50 years, but its flying suit can be used for landing on the moon

The U-2 flight suit designed more than 50 years ago is still in use today

The U-2 pilots flying suit is also a 1950s product, so its design is very successful. Not only that, the overall design and key technologies of U-2 flight suit are also used in the new generation of NASAs space suit.

Whats the value of this flying suit? One day in 2009, a U.S. Air Force pilot, Brent Baker, was flying the U-2 overnight at 21000 meters. Suddenly, the seal of the porthole failed and the air pressure in the cabin dropped sharply. Before Baker was afraid, his flying suit automatically went into a state of protection, maintaining enough air pressure to ensure the safety of the pilots life.

Boris flying suit

This kind of scene is very similar to the emergency plan when the spacecraft takes off and lands. NASA officials say U-2 pilots and astronauts have many of the same needs for clothes, which are not only safe, but also comfortable, flexible and easy to move. The difference is that the U-2 only takes 10-12 hours to fly in the air, while the spacecraft may take six months to fly. Therefore, when Loma developed a new generation of Orion manned spacecraft for NASA, it found the same company to develop the take-off and landing space suit, the so-called Orion crew survival system (OCSs). Orions destinations include the moon, asteroids and Mars. If it is used to carry out the mission of landing on the moon, that is, the hot Artemis plan, before the spacecraft lands safely on the moon, the astronauts will wear OCSs, and then they will change into the spacesuit for walking on the moon and walk out of the cabin door.

OCSs spacesuit for Orion spacecraft

The companys name is David Clark company. They didnt disclose how many U-2 flight suit technologies were used for OCSs development. However, when the OCSs prototype was developed, it was directly submitted to the U.S. Air Force for trial use on the U-2.

The development of space suits has also promoted the improvement of real U-2 flying suits. David Clark revealed two of them, first of all, the crews full body laser 3D scanning, which is the basis for each pilot / astronaut to tailor their own exclusive clothing. The second is additive manufacturing technology. Some complex parts that traditionally need skilled technicians to manufacture by hand can not only shorten the construction period, but also effectively reduce the volume and weight after being manufactured by 3D printing. In addition, the new generation of U-2 flight suit also uses some new materials emerging in recent years, such as the inner lining changed to Gore Tex material, and so on.

It seems that the U.S. Air Force really intends to keep the U-2 in service for a long time.

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