When the crew aboard the Gemini 7 visited the Tezhib lunar space station, they stood and held their hats. In stark contrast to their often round heads, with their wide orbits around the Earth, their faces were smaller and more oval in shape.
NASA should take a look at this from time to time, to see if it can be done successfully. During that flight, the astronauts were concerned about their orbits being too close to the earth. If they had one of these small helmets, they could feel comfortable, not just look good.
NASA has been planning for this for years, designing space helmets with the wide field of view of today’s cameras. These would go well with one of these rather large helmets. They also would fit comfortably over the ears, providing enough comfort for what is otherwise a hard ride in space.
The most difficult part of the design is fitting the smaller head, where it can’t sit in the exact center of the field of view, as on the astronaut’s heads when they are sitting in their seats. When you think about it, you can see why NASA is thinking of this.
This could be solved by some sort of device, like a tiny hole in the forehead of the helmet, permitting an eye piece, allowing an astronaut to see outside, in a little “eye port.” The astronauts could see what was going on out there, as well as look in the tiny hole. Such things as G-forces, and all the wonderful sights you would see out there, would be easier to comprehend when you could actually see what was going on outside, without having to squint.
There have been studies of this, and NASA is willing to take this route, but they will also need to have a way to redirect their eyes, in other words, to move them as they look at their way to the moon, or Mars, etc. They will have an issue, when they first get back to earth and want to look up, so they can see where they are. It’s a minor quibble, but it needs to be taken care of.
The zero-gravity environment will cause the astronaut to lose some of his sense of orientation, so the astronauts will have to be able to change the direction of their head, in order to make it easier to walk forward. They will also need to know how to reverse the process, when returning to earth. Space travel is more than just walking, it’s more than walking back and forth.
Once the astronauts land on the surface of the moon, they are going to have to make that first step and stay on their feet, for a while. They will be up in the zero gravity environment, looking around, and trying to find the controls, in order to help themselves. Not knowing how to do it, they might slip and fall.
This, along with the fact that they will not be wearing a protective outer covering, will help to avoid any slips and falls. A one-piece cockpit would be more comfortable, but it would be necessary for them to know how to get their helmets to slide back into place. There will also be issues with getting all of the helmets to slide back into place.
In zero gravity, nothing can stay perfectly still. When astronauts are first going up into the astronauts will need to learn how to stand up, how to walk, and what their new awareness of their bodily functions will be like. Without the helmet, they won’t be able to practice this, until they get used to not wearing the helmet.
There will be many events in zero gravity, that an astronaut is not going to be ready for. Yet they will need to be prepared for those events, because they will be so different from how they do things in their air conditioned habitat, in their seats, on their chairs, etc.
The astronaut’s helmet will not be as comfortable in zero gravity as they would like, but it’s better than it will be in earth gravity. . The helmets that are used on Earth are of superior quality, and weigh less than the current designs, they have in orbit.