Spacesuit Inspired By Athlete Cathy Freeman Gets Its Debut At The International Space Station

15/10/2015 1:21 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Australia's Cathy Freeman crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the 400-meter race Monday, Sept. 25, 2000 at Olympic Stadium in Sydney. Mexico's Ana Guevara is at right. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

Cathy Freeman won Olympic gold in her activewear and now, her distinctive green-and-gold bodysuit has inspired a new type of spacesuit.

The Australian-made spacesuit debuted at the International Space Station last month, having been developed at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

cathy freeman

Aerospace engineer Dr James Waldie designed the SkinSuit to combat the degenerative effects of weightlessness on the body.

“Given the impact of atrophy on astronauts in space, I wondered if a suit like the one worn by Freeman could fool the body into thinking it was on the ground rather than in space, and therefore stay healthy,” Waldie said in a statement.

The suit was put on by Denmark’s first astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, who wore it for 10 days.

“Seeing live video of Andreas wearing SkinSuit on board the ISS was thrilling - I felt an enormous sense of achievement that my concept was finally in orbit,” Waldie said.

It's not the first time Freeman's inspired people in different fields.

Basketball champion Patty Mills described her as his inspiration, while interest in her bodysuits reached fever pitch when her opening ceremony suit was stolen, then mysteriously returned 14 years later.

More On This Topic

Advertisement
Advertisement