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NASA has awarded a $100,000 grant to the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) to design and build a prototype Mars planetary suit.

The year-long project, which involves students at several universities and colleges around North Dakota, will culminate in the production of a prototype spacesuit in March 2006.

College teams from around the state will address issues such as mobility, telecommunications, biomedical sensors, thermal control, dexterity (glove mobility), kinematics of walking on Mars, design of an enclosed life support system, helmet design, power sources and more.

Hamilton Sundstrand, which manufactures the Space Shuttle spacesuit, and the NASA Extravehicular Activities Office at Johnson Space Center will provide technical assistance.

For more information: 800-828-4274.

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