WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Hohenstein Institute collaborates with NASA to test performance apparel for astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). Dubbed “SpaceTex-2,” the project is a six-month-long study that takes place aboard the station.
The New Hampshire Business Review reports that the Portsmouth-based apparel company Coolcore supplies the garments for the study. European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst wears a series of moisture-wicking T-shirts during workouts made from the company’s proprietary Spacetex fabrics as well as standard performance wear to compare sweat evaporation. Dr. Jan Beringer of the Hohenstein Institute acts as principal investigator of the study’s findings with a series of collaborators from European research institutes and the German Aerospace Center.
“It has been frequently hypothesized that a lack of gravity impairs the natural share of convective heat transfer from the body surface,” explains NASA. “This is because gravity, as the driving force for this convective heat transfer, ceases to apply at the body surface along the body axis under microgravity conditions. This results in changes in the thermal comfort of the crew member under these specific environmental conditions, especially during daily physical exercise.”
Through the study, NASA says it hopes to improve the overall comfort and well-being of astronauts aboard the ISS and refine its understanding of terrestrial and microgravity’s impacts on heat transfer/heat exchange. The study marks the first time NASA has investigated commercial fabrics scientifically for use in space.
SpaceTex-2 follows the organization’s original investigation, SPACETEX which explored how active wear performs in space. NASA expects to reveal results after the study concludes in August 2018.
To read the full description of the study, visit https://go.nasa.gov/2HeOKO7.