Safer, Tougher Spacesuits

NASA supports UD technology that protects spacesuits from punctures, projectiles

Astronauts are a smart, courageous and resilient lot, no doubt about that. But when they go out for a walk in space – in environments none of us could survive on our own – they need a lot of protection.

There are plenty of perilous possibilities. One of the most serious threats is the stuff flying around in space – sharp stuff, dusty stuff, fast-moving stuff.

Puncture an astronaut’s space suit – whether by projectile, the sharp edge of a tool or falling onto a rock – and you could let in a world of trouble.

NASA sees great promise in a new protective textile – the shear thickening fluid technology co-developed at the University of Delaware by Norman Wagner, Unidel Robert L. Pigford Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and STF Technologies, the company he co-founded with UD alum Richard Dombrowski.

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