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MIT studies spacewalker glove design

November 1st, 2010 / By: / Advanced Textiles, Industry News

Hand injuries make up 47 percent of injuries incurred during space walks, and current glove design may be responsible for astronauts losing fingernails (delamination) and developing infections in exposed nail beds. Gloves are pressurized, creating blisters and friction. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study of hand injuries, published in the journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine in October, found that spacewalkers with larger hands had bigger problems with delamination. Solutions under debate include space suits that rely on mechanical counterpressure, custom fit of not just inner but outer layers of space gloves, and robotic gloves.

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