11. June 2018 | Research & Development
“Spacetex2” researches functional textiles under zero gravity
“Alexander Gerst has to sweat quite a lot in space in order to activate the cooling performance of the functional shirts,” outlines Project Manager Dr Jan Beringer from Hohenstein. The fact that sweating under zero gravity is completely different from sweating on Earth was discovered in 2014 during the preceding Spacetex project and is a helpful framework condition for the experiments. Jan Beringer explains, “Like on Earth, the human body emits heat when under strain and tries to cool itself down in this way. However, zero gravity changes heat exchange on the surface of the body - there is no loss of heat due to convection when in space. During physical activity, heat thus builds up quicker than on earth. The result of this is that the core body temperature rapidly climbs to values that are too high to be healthy. Therefore, it is very important to optimise heat exchange through the evaporative cooling of sweat by clothing made of appropriate materials.”
For Alexander Gerst, sweaty experiments in the name of science are nothing new. During the “Blue Dot” mission back in 2014, his deployment to space provided valuable findings for the preceding Spacetex project which were included in the further development of the functional shirts now specifically manufactured for the ISS.