Lending NASA a Hand in Preparation for the Artemis Missions

NASA’s Artemis missions are sending astronauts back to the moon, and the team at Thermetrics has been given the opportunity to lend them a hand – literally!

The dark side of the moon is incredibly cold, with temperatures lower than -300 degrees Fahrenheit. With these extremely frigid conditions in mind, it is critical that astronauts have the proper equipment to keep every inch of their bodies safe and warm. But if you think they are just planning on adding a few extra layers to their space suits, think again. 

While we can’t speak to the spacesuits in their entirety, we can speak to the gloves, as we’ve created technology to help test their resilience against triple-digit negative temperatures. 

Testing the gloves for Artemis

A glove hand hand is sitting on a little metal box. In the background you can see wires, metal, and what looks like aluminum foil.

A single glove is placed on a manikin hand before it enters into a vacuum chamber that’s cooled with liquid nitrogen. The glove-covered hand is meticulously transferred from the loading chamber into the main chamber, which is incredibly cold, mimicking moon-like temperatures.

Once the glove-covered hand is in the freezing main chamber, measurements are taken. The glove is then pressed against a contact block, the equivalent of touching a cold surface, and measurements are again taken.Prior to working with Thermetrics, the testing consisted of people placing their own hand, covered in temperature sensors, in a glove and touching an object within the chamber. The measurements from the Thermetrics tests will be run against the measurements from old tests using human subjects to compare results. 

The new testing will reduce the potential risk factors for humans by using quantitative instruments instead of human hands. 

While testing is still in its early phases, we can’t wait to learn the impacts this technology will make within the worlds of science and space exploration.

Learn more about the work our team does here.