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NASA's Centennial Challenge for Improved Astronaut Gloves Set

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:04 pm
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On Wednesday and Thursday, May 2-3, teams from around the nation will compete for a total of $250,000 from NASA for an improved astronaut glove design. The Astronaut Glove Challenge, one of NASA’s seven Centennial Challenges, will take place at the New England Air Museum at Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Conn. The competition is free and open to media and the public. It begins May 2 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT and continues May 3 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NASA is offering a total of $200,000 for the team that can design and manufacture the best astronaut glove that exceeds minimum requirements. An additional $50,000 goes to the team that best demonstrates Mechanical Counter Pressure gloves.

An astronaut’s gloves are among the most critical pieces of the spacesuit. After an extended time of work using the current gloves, astronauts’ hands have bled and been bruised, and fingernails have been damaged. This competition seeks new glove joint technologies that make the astronauts’ jobs easier, more comfortable and safer with stronger gloves that increase flexibility and dexterity.

At no cost to NASA, Volanz Aerospace, Inc., Owings, Md., is administering the challenge. Hamilton Sundstrand, Windsor Locks, Conn., and ILC Dover, Frederica, Del., are sponsors of the contest.

Centennial Challenges, an element of NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, promotes technical innovation through prize competitions to make revolutionary advances to support the Vision for Space Exploration and NASA goals. For more information about the Innovative Partnerships Program and Centennial Challenges, visit:

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