Report: NASA spacesuit technology may ease menopausal symptoms


Space-inspired research may help regulate menopause-related “hot flashes”, as US Air Force materials originally intended for space shuttle gloves have become part of a line of fabric that helps people deal with postmenopausal physical discomfort.


According to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, the US National Institutes of Health estimates that 1.3 million people in the country enter menopause each year, and the condition can persist for several years and some people suffer from bad symptoms, according to NASA.


There is no biological treatment for menopause, but some relief appears to come from the technology, called Outlast, discovered by NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the 1980s.


The goal at the time was to help space shuttle astronauts regulate their temperature in the harsh environments of space. During spacewalks, astronauts oscillate between light and dark, and temperatures can reach 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) in sunlight and as low as 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) in sunlight. to minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 160 degrees Celsius) in the shadows.


The unique technology inspired by spacewalk protection is now helping to manage menopause, said Louise Nicholson, founder of London-based Fifty-One Apparel, which markets menopause relief clothing.


“I did some initial research to see what was on the market, and there was absolutely nothing other than pajamas,” Nicholson said of her work before founding the company in 2017.


NASA said the fabrics from Fifty-One Apparel strive for a premium feel based on “phase-changing materials”, which allow individuals to maintain a constant temperature in various environments that switch between heat and cold.


Also, during the space shuttle era, NASA had a small business innovation research contract with Triangle Research and Development Corp. To expand the use of phase-change materials in orbit.


NASA said early research by Triangle showed that a “temperature-stabilizing fabric insert” worked correctly inside the spacesuit glove. .


NASA said Outlast has been used in other products, including office chairs and underwear, and even race car drivers are known to use the material.

Scroll to Top