Chapter 09.4

Now Carl is ready for the outer suit. Like the undergarments, the outer suit is tailor made for each user. For this first Mars mission, a little personalization was permitted in the design phase of the individual suits. Two two-inch wide bands around the bicep area of each arm are highlighted in a color chosen by each user. There is a matching three-inch band around the right thigh and another one over the top of the helmet, front to back like a racing stripe. Carl’s preference was Hunter Orange and when the others asked why, he grinned and replied, “I don’t want anyone shooting at me, mistaking me for an alien.”

Sally laughed at that and pointed out, “When we get to Mars, any life we may encounter will be the natives. We will be the aliens, and besides, no one should be doing any shooting in the first place.” She chose a color called ‘Georgia Clay’, saying that if they did meet any Martians, she wanted them to think she was one of them as her chosen color most closely matched the red, iron oxide rich Martian soil.

Valerie chose fire-truck red, against the otherwise white suit, so she would be readily spotted as the chief medic. Tom picked a rich blue, a color that perfectly matched Penny’s sparkling eyes. Brandon went with the traditional Kelly green of his ancestry and also to go with his green thumb. Jackie, on the other hand, requested the opportunity to use two colors: brown and yellow to emphasize her African/American – Chinese heritage. As Bolo One is the first crew, she was obliged by the design team and given the two stripes, but at half the width each.

The spacesuit is, for all intents and purposes, an unpowered spacecraft. It is an airtight vehicle, which provides the occupant protection from the vacuum, heat, and cold of space. It also supplies crucial air and water, and contains a receptacle to get rid of waste. As to the last item, keep in mind that whatever you do in the suit stays with you until you take it off. As with small children in snowsuits, a trip to the bathroom before getting dressed is a great idea.

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