Asteroid Exploration Could Be Within Reach with an MMU

There’s plenty of talk going around about exploring the vastness of space. Plans for moon visits and colonies, and talks about doing the same on Mars, has the world pointed in a direction that is firmly aimed at space. All that talk is pretty inspiring, and many designers are taking up the challenge of creating ideas for what the new world of space travel will look like.

Bruno Gauthier LeBlanc and Dave Arredondo have created a transportation design for asteroid exploration that would have a single astronaut flying through space to origins where no man has gone before.

Transportation Design for Asteriod Exploration called MMU or manned maneuvering unit

The design, called MMU or “Manned Maneuvering Unit,” looks like something straight out of anime. The suit could easily pass as a Gundam mecha. The transport has a strong similarity to a more earthbound flying machine, the boomerang. In fact, the MMU is called exactly that: Boomerang. The name could be a result of the machine’s appearance, but it might also be a confidence-boosting thought for its pilot—boomerangs return their throwers, after all, just like the pilot of one of these machines will do after a mission.

The stated purpose of these suits is to be able to travel to asteroids beyond Mars.

manned maneuvering unit design for asteriod exploration

The MMU leaves the astronaut’s arms and legs free of the craft, but the torso and head are swallowed up in the unit, where no doubt there are all sorts of readouts and screens to be viewed. The most obvious challenge of such a suit is that it looks to weight quite a bit, so the astronaut won’t be walking around very much while strapped into an MMU.

But in the weightlessness of space, free of Earth’s gravity, it shouldn’t pose a problem. Rockets on the back of the unit would provide propulsion. With more of space coming into reach, it may not be long before missions in an MMU start happening.

Check it out

transportation design for exploration