Today, Donald Trump signed the NASA Transition Authorization Act which adds a manned mission to Mars as one of the space agency’s goals.
A manned mission to Mars. AWESOME!
But, if people really do want to get to Mars by 2018, then they’ll need a zipper that doesn’t rust, tarnish, or corrode as the zippers on the Apollo 11–14 spacesuits did.
Mars is rust…
The soil of Mars is expected to be a strong oxidizer and magnetic. The dust and sand present on the soil will pose great mechanical risk and challenge.
The soil, sand, and dust on Mars will likely get stuck in zipper teeth, jamming them up.
Martian dust is also toxic so we want a fully hermetic seal. Current zippers have teeth gaps that dust can easily find its way through. Mars astronauts will find themselves breathing in the fine particles of the toxic Martian dust.
History is trying to tell you something, NASA. It’s to upgrade the closures on your spacesuits.
This is a picture of the corrosion on the Apollo mission spacesuits.
Brass (copper) and rubber react.
Oh yeah…and they had to use THREE toothed zippers.
Why use three zippers when you only need ONE?
Are we really going to try living on Mars with 19th century closure technology on spacesuits?
Please, NASA, for the safety of our astronauts UPGRADE THE CLOSURES!
There’s a new closure…
I know NASA eliminated zippers from spacesuits that are to be worn on space travel missions that have a long duration (over 3 or so weeks.) Now, they use metal and rubber gasket hard seals which are heavy and rigid but more reliable.
NASA nixed the unreliable current toothed fasteners whose metal teeth react with the rubber causing the closure to not function as desired.
NASA didn’t nix the Klōs®. It didn’t exist.
Recently, Boeing unvelied a flight spacesuit with a zipper closure: https://www.wired.com/2017/01/boeings-new-spacesuit-may-look-stylish-hell-business/
I believe it’s fair to say zippers aren’t completely out of the picture (hence Boeing’s suit) and I firmly believe that the closure I’ve invented will give NASA the flexibility and reliability that they want for the long duration Mars mission suits.
No NASA photos or materials explicitly or implicitly convey NASA’s endorsement of commercial goods or services.