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21 July, 2007

Can do that, Dava

Scientists designing a 'next-generation' spacesuit for astronauts clearly need to balance protection (and loss of mobility) against mobility (and loss of protection).

Dava Bowman Newman and her team at MIT have had the wonderfully elegant idea of identifying the lines of non-extension on the human body – those areas of skin which don't stretch during activity. Since they don't need to move, the material directly over them can be near-rigid, collectively providing what amounts to an exoskeleton of lines set into an otherwise flexible suit.

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