Think about how frightening it would be to float around in space without being able to get back to the base ship. Okay it’d be fun for a minute or two, but then it’d be terrifying.
Instead, imagine being adrift in space unable to re-reach the ship, and then pressing a button that automatically guides your suit back. That idea is what Draper Labs is trying to make a reality. Their engineers are trying to develop technology that can locate your suit’s position relative to the ship, and have the suit create an optimal return trajectory to get you back safe.
This could be especially useful if an astronaut is feeling dizzy or disoriented and can’t guide themselves back. The self-return system could even be activated by crew aboard the ship or by mission control on the ground.
Sounds like some amazing tech, and even NASA is interested, though it could be a while before it becomes real. Now, if only I had a ‘Take Me Home’ button I could press right after I clock out at work.
[ Gizmodo ]