European Space Agency researchers are testing a ‘skinsuit’ for astronauts that should help them avoid back problems during missions.
Many astronauts suffer backache in the weightlessness of space as their spines lengthen and, with less work to do, bone and muscle waste away.
The tight-fitting Skinsuit is tailor-made and has a bi-directional weave specially designed to counteract the lack of gravity by squeezing the body from the shoulders to the feet with a similar force to that felt on Earth.
ESA’s Space Medicine Office is working with Kings College London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to test prototypes.
ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen will be the first to evaluate the suit in space during his mission to the International Space Station in 2015.