In March NPP Zvezda will manufacture a prototype of a jetpack for astronauts, NPP Zvezda CEO Sergey Pozdnyakov told TASS.
“We are going to complete the production of a demonstrator in March and start its testing using a special test bench,” Pozdnyakov said.
He explained that after the testing a presentation with the participation of representatives of Roscosmos, Cosmonaut Training Center, Rocket and Space Corporation Energiya and other organizations would be held. “The next step is production of test jetpacks,” he said. According to him, the company will need a certain amount of financing.
The development of this jetpack financed from the company’s own funds was started last year. This device is the analogue of SAFER (Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue) system developed in USA; it is used to return an astronaut to the space station automatically in case he moves too far from it. The American system uses manual controls.
Today the safe movement of astronauts on the outer surface of ISS is assured by two safety tethers with swiveling hooks and EVA handrails.