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  • Writer's pictureDhruv Parmar

This ‘hands-on’ AI-based test project will help ensure astronaut gloves are safe in space

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) aren’t space tourists. They’re workers, scientists and engineers. They are doing critical science missions in an intense operating environment where safety is paramount. On spacewalks they repair equipment, install new instruments and upgrade the largest spacecraft ever flown. Just like workers here on Earth, their gloves can show wear and tear – even rips and cuts – presenting potential safety concerns.

To prevent problems from arising, astronauts working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) must take photos of their spacesuit gloves during and after every spacewalk and transmit them down to Earth for inspection. From there, NASA analysts examine photos of the gloves, looking for any damage that could pose a hazard, and then send the results back to the astronauts on the ISS.

This process gets the job done with the ISS’s low orbit distance of about 250 miles from Earth, but things will be different when NASA once again sends people to the moon, and then to Mars – 140 million miles away from Earth.

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