MSI’s Wearable Technology Exhibit Will Feature Boeing’s Revolutionary New Spacesuit, Prototype Material For Limited Time

CHICAGO — July 16, 2019 — As part of its Wired to Wear exhibit — the first-ever exhibit dedicated to the future of wearable technology — the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) is giving guests a look at Boeing’s pioneering new Starliner spacesuit. Additionally, MSI guests can also see the groundbreaking new material Boeing and University of North Dakota researchers are working on to perfect with the intention to lengthen astronauts’ time on the lunar surface. These items will be on display through July 31 in exhibit’s Latest Lab, which is dedicated to showcasing the newest wearable prototypes across industries.

“Wired to Wear is a celebration of cutting-edge technologies that will revolutionize how we live. As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission’s Moon landing and prepares to return to the lunar surface, we are thrilled to add something as iconic as a next-generation spacesuit to the exhibit,” said Kathleen McCarthy, MSI’s head curator and director of Collections. “We are so grateful to Boeing, a longtime Museum partner, for their help as we showcase how our clothing will make us smarter, faster and stronger in the near future.”

CST-100 Starliner Suit

The Starliner spacesuit, which will be tested in flight later this year, borrows from historic designs but leverages advanced materials and new joint patterns to allow for lighter weight, enhanced flexibility and greater temperature control for astronauts. Components include:

  • Touchscreen-sensitive gloves and integrated shoes, similar to cross-trainers
  • Strategically located zippers that shifts the suit’s shape based on whether the wearer is sitting or standing
  • A soft helmet and visor incorporated into the suit rather than the previous bulky, detachable iterations

The suit will be the official suit for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which provides all elements needed to transport crew and cargo to and from low-Earth orbit destinations, including:

  • Crew training and mission planning
  • Spacecraft and launch vehicle assembly
  • Integration and testing
  • Crew and cargo recovery

Boeing is working toward two Starliner flights in 2019, the first without a crew and the second with Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson, and NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Mike Fincke, on board.

A Glimpse into Space Innovation

Wired to Wear’s Latest Lab will also feature samples of groundbreaking new material by Boeing engineer Dr. Kavya K. Manyapu, acclaimed space scientist and member of the U.N. Space Generation Advisory Council.

The material, which is being tested aboard the International Space Station, weaves carbon nanotubes and other conductive materials into spacesuit fabric to combat lunar dust, which is sharp enough to tear through space suits and poses a serious risk to astronaut health due its chemical makeup. Dr. Manyapu’s material runs an electric current through the nanotubes that pushes the dust off of the suit, helping protect astronaut health, mitigate dust contamination and allowing less wear-and-tear on planetary spacesuits.

Wired to Wear is presented by BMO and will be at MSI through May 2020. The experience is not included in Museum Entry and requires an additional timed-entry ticket, $12 for adults and seniors, and $9 for children ages 3-11.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As the top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing employs more than 150,000 people worldwide and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Welcome to Science Initiative, the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30–4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District.

Posted July 16, 2019

Source:  Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago