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NASA unveils flexible, one-size-fits-all space suits

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Bye bye to bunny hops: when US astronauts next touch down on the Moon, expect them to walk almost as they do on Earth, thanks to a new generation of spacesuits offering key advantages over those of the Apollo-era.

Prototypes of the Orion Crew Survival Suit that will be worn on the journey and the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) for the lunar surface were unveiled at NASA’s Washington headquarters Tuesday ahead of the agency’s planned return to the Moon by 2024.

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Standing in front of a giant US flag, spacesuit engineer Kristine Davis wore a pressurized red, blue and white xEMU suit, showing off a vastly improved range of motion thanks to bearings systems on the waist, arms, and legs.

They are also extendable and therefore one-size-fits-all, meaning there won’t be a repeat of an embarrassing flub in March that caused the first all-female spacewalk to be aborted when a second medium-sized suit wasn’t available.

AFP / Laurence CHU NASA’s new spacesuits

“If we remember the Apollo generation, we remember Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, they bunny hopped on the surface of the Moon,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told a hall filled with students and interns at the space agency.

“Now we’re going to be able to walk on the surface of the Moon, which is very different from the suits of the past.”

Another key innovation is the xEMU’s unlimited capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, a byproduct of respiration that is also poisonous in high quantities.

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It achieves this through a system that both absorbs and then removes the gas into the vacuum of space, unlike current systems that merely absorb it until its reaches a saturation point.

AFP / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS Advance space suit engineer, Kristine Davis (R), waves next to space suit engineer Amy Ross (L) during a press conference displaying NASA’s next generation of space suits

The crew survival suit, meanwhile, is designed to provide full life support for up to six days — a scenario that could be required, for example, if a meteorite punches a hole in the spacecraft’s hull.

Under the Artemis mission, NASA plans to land on the Moon’s South Pole in order to exploit its water ice, discovered in 2009, both for life support purposes and to split into hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket propellant.

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The agency views its return to the Moon as a proving ground for an onward mission to Mars in the 2030s.


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Trump rages at Sally Yates minutes before she testifies in the Senate: Greatest political crime of the century!

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President Donald Trump lashed out at former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on Wednesday, just minutes before she was set to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Sally Yates has zero credibility,” Trump tweeted, as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was delivering his opening statement.

“She was a part of the greatest political crime of the Century, and ObamaBiden knew EVERYTHING! Sally Yates leaked the General Flynn conversation? Ask her under oath. Republicans should start playing the Democrats game!“

Graham is accusing former Justice Department officials of abusing their power by surveilling some Trump’s associates during their investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

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2020 Election

Trump makes pitch on Catholic TV: ‘Catholics like their Second Amendment so I saved the Second Amendment’

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President Donald Trump this week made a pitch to Catholic voters based on his assertion that he "saved the Second Amendment."

In a Tuesday interview with the Catholic TV network EWTV, correspondent Tracy Sabol asked Trump if he had a message for Catholic voters.

"Well, I think anybody having to do with, frankly, religion, but certainly the Catholic Church, you have to be with President Trump when it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things, these people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment," the president said, "because, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment. So I saved the Second Amendment."

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‘Jim Acosta is a fake reporter!’ Trump angrily denies reports that he ‘still doesn’t get’ coronavirus threat

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CNN's Jim Acosta must have struck a nerve with President Donald Trump.

Trump angrily denied Acosta's reporting that some members of the president's coronavirus task force were alarmed that Trump kept trying to change the subject during Tuesday's meeting about the deadly pandemic, and sources familiar with the White House meeting feared he still doesn't understand the gravity of the situation.

“He still doesn’t get it,” the source said. “He does not get it.”

As some members of the task force tried to stress the dire nature of the situation to the president during the meeting, the source said Trump repeatedly attempted to change the subject.

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