Aviation glasses are coming to the rescue of our planet.
According to NASA, the first batch of glasses will be deployed to astronauts during the upcoming 2020 EVA on the International Space Station.
The glasses, which look like an old-fashioned pair of spectacles with lenses, will allow astronauts to better see what’s around them, and will provide a boost to the space agency’s efforts to explore and study other worlds.
“NASA is developing a revolutionary, futuristic and affordable set of eyewear that will change the way people and spacecraft communicate,” NASA said in a statement.
“In space, the eyes are like the ears of the human body, so glasses like these offer a new way to make spaceflight more comfortable, enjoyable and engaging for the entire crew.”
The glasses are currently being tested on ISS, and astronauts will be able to use them as part of the International Year of Astronautics, which will be held in 2024.
According to NASA’s announcement, the glasses will not only allow astronauts and cosmonauts to better understand the environment around them but also to communicate.
NASA’s glasses will have a field of view of 100 degrees, making it possible to get a 360-degree view of the world around them.
In addition to a more natural-looking view, NASA’s glasses also have an array of sensors that will allow for the ability to monitor and measure the environment.
“[We will be] able to detect and measure changes in atmospheric pressure, wind speed and the sun’s intensity,” NASA stated.
“These sensors are designed to be installed in the eye’s socket, and can be used to take readings at a range of temperatures and ambient pressures.”
According the statement, the NASA glasses are also expected to offer astronauts with an improved sense of smell.
“A high-resolution camera with multiple microphones and multiple cameras on the lens will allow the astronauts to detect different kinds of smell in the environment,” NASA explained.
These glasses will also allow astronauts with the ability of remote viewing to be able explore a variety of objects in space.
“With remote viewing, astronauts will have the opportunity to view the entire Earth from space, and they can look up, down and around the Earth in real-time,” NASA noted.
“NASA is also developing an ultra-high-resolution infrared camera that will be used on the ISS to see in infrared, a wavelength that only the human eye can see.”
The NASA announcement also outlined plans for the new glasses to help with the medical monitoring of spaceflight, including the use of the glasses for measuring pressure and temperature.
“With the glasses, astronauts can take temperature and pressure measurements from up to 2,000 meters above the ground and will also have the ability at their fingertips to measure pressure and other parameters, and record them into a map that can be uploaded to NASA Webcasts, such as those that provide a snapshot of the Earth from orbit,” NASA added.
As part of this effort, NASA has partnered with other industry partners and institutions to create the NASA Space Glass Challenge.
This is a challenge for companies to create an augmented reality headset that will help people with vision problems and disabilities better see and feel the world.
This partnership with industry is the first step towards creating the next generation of eyeglasses, and NASA will be making a video available soon to show how the new technology will work in spaceflight.