I know a similar question was asked whether gas masks could be used to survive in space but it didn't quite focus on the parts I'm interested in.
I'm building a world in which space travel is regular i.e. trips between a day to a couple of years, people living on ships permanently and city-sized space stations/ships.
I don't think people would want to wear space suits their whole life and people would prefer to risk the danger of not wearing one for many reasons like practicality and because fashion(people still ride bikes without helmets). However, there would still be a risk of decompression so I was thinking as a possible compromise that some kind of base layer could be worn that would provide some protection.
I was thinking of a two piece suit, trousers and top, worn as a base layer, that weren't necessarily air tight (I hear skin is fairly airtight) but would when exposed to vacuum constrict to provide even pressure around the body (maybe there would have to at least be air tight underwear to seal that area).
Then in the event of an emergency that leads to a loss of pressure a person could put on a nearby face mask (would have to be strapped on tight) plus maybe gloves and ear protection. The purpose of this system isn't eva. Its so that a person has time to get themselves to safety or to give someone else time to rescue them.
The closest parallel I can draw is an emergency gas mask I was provided at work which would only last about 15 minutes but could easily be worn on a shoulder strap while working unlike carrying full scuba gear all the time. (thinking about it something like that could be used for the face mask)
The questions are
- how would the suit work i.e materials, method of constriction.
- Are there any improvements you can think of or redesign considering that it still needs to allow clothes to be worn over the top
- how long can a person A)survive and B)stay conscious and mobile while wearing this type of protection considering if everything works out all the main holes should be sealed and an even pressure of one earth atmosphere from the neck down and on the face and ignoring air supply.