Connecticut company designing space suit for mission to Mars


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Work being done at UTC Aerospace systems in Windsor Locks includes decades of breakthroughs protecting astronauts as they enter the unknown.

For the Apollo missions, to the moon, and now beyond.

The next mission is the most ambitious mankind has ever witnessed, a journey to the red planet, a mission to Mars.

For engineers at UTC Aerospace systems, it means a new approach and new look to the space suit.

“The outer layers are very tough fabric which reflect the sun’s rays and also protect against scratches and micro meteorites – tiny specs of dust flying at 10s of thousands miles an hour,” said Gregory Quinn, Ph.D. Staff Research Engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems.

Razor sharp rocks and dust, extreme cold.

Just a few of the challenges Dr. Quinn and the team at UTC Aerospace systems face.

For Quinn, it’s the journey to the red planet that inspired his career choice.

“When I was in high school I was captured by the idea of helping get people on to Mars,” said Dr. Quinn.

Work and planning for the missions to deep space and beyond is already underway.

NASA wants to put humans on Mars by the 2030’s.

UTC Aerospace are now working through the engineering challenges.

For one, Mars has no water.

“We need to develop new systems for evaporating water and cooling the astronaut,” said Dr. Quinn.

The Martian environment has twice the gravity as the moon.

“The Mars spacesuit will have to be much, much lighter than what we operate with today,” said Dr. Quinn.

Humans will also need to be more mobile Mars.

It will take about eight minutes to send and receive messages from Mars to Earth and back.

Suits will need be supercomputers.

“We’ll need provide more info like checklists, travel routes, Mars walk planning those things will have to be done locally so the computing power in the suit will be much greater than it is today,” said Dr. Quinn.

Connecticut employees, right in the middle of the greatest journey of exploration humankind has ever seen.

Raising technology to new heights.

“It’s already driving innovation, driving technology and scientists to do more than we have ever done before,” said Dr. Quinn.