Last week, as part of World Space Week, three teams of earthbound astronauts donned their next-gen space suits and put them to the test. The event was called World Space Walk, and took place simultaneously in Utah, Innsbruck (Austria), and North Dakota. The three tests were coordinated from Innsbruck, while a second team in Marseille, France monitored telemetry data.
Each of the three suits featured its own unique design, but the tests they were faced with were similar. Each suit (with a human inside it) had to navigate three separate obstacle courses, set up a tripod, utilize a camera and collect specific rock samples, among other tasks. Data were collected for each of the tasks which will be released next year, giving prospective Martians a clearer picture of the capabilities of each of the next-gen space suits.
Austria's own Aouda.X suit was the first of the three to sign up for the study, with the University of North Dakota's NDX-2 and Utah's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) analog suit jumping onboard thereafter. Each of these suits will have to be capable of weathering the arid, windy atmosphere of Mars to be eligible for use in future projects such as the Mars One colony or manned NASA missions. Check out the highlights of the World Space Walk in the gallery below.