The technology used in space suits to protect astronauts is being used to create protective clothing for firefighters, says the European Space Agency.
Conceived within the ESA's Technology Transfer Program, the Safe&Cool system was developed by a consortium of six small and medium-sized enterprises from Italy, Belgium and Poland, in cooperation with Italian Grado Zero Espace and CIOP-PIB, and coordinated by the Italian engineering firm D'Appolonia.
"The existing protective clothing used while performing physically demanding work in hot conditions can, in many cases, hinder workers' ability to remain cool," said Stefano Carosio of D'Appolonia, who is project manager for the Safe&Cool project.
The cooling apparatus used in the project has been developed by Grado Zero Espace and has already been used successfully in clothing for Formula-1 McLaren mechanics and the Spanish Moto-GP driver, Sete Gibernau.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: 'Space fabric' links fashion and engineering