Canadian-designed space clothes to be tested in Antarctica

Astroskin. (Handout)

Astroskin. (Handout)

Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 3:52 PM ET

OTTAWA — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will soon test new clothes designed for the final frontier.

A team of six explorers is expected to set sail for Antarctica on Feb. 2 to try out the Astroskin, which Carre Technologies of Montreal designed for astronauts.

The prototype "smart shirt" monitors the wearer's vital signs, sleep quality and activity level, and then sends the data wirelessly to medical teams on the ground.

The CSA says it wants to test the Astroskin in Antarctica because the team will be working in a place "comparable to the extreme environment and isolated conditions experienced by space-farers."

If Astroskin passes its tests, the CSA sees commercial possibilities too.

"Although the system was designed with astronauts in mind, its ability to manage the wearer's medical data from any location holds great promise for patients on Earth requiring close medical surveillance, especially those in remote communities, far from a doctor," the agency said in a news release.


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