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SNAPSHOT: Peter Homer, MS '84

Handy Man

Photo: Jeff Riedel

On space walks, an astronaut's hands are essential for mobility as well as to perform tasks, but cumbersome gloves often cause blisters and damaged fingernails. In 2005, NASA decided to put out an open call for a better space glove, and Peter Homer answered it. The former engineer turned his Maine garage into a workshop and worked—often into the wee hours of the morning—toward a solution. He found one: an X-shaped stitch over each knuckle to constrain and protect the hand in a highly pressurized environment while simultaneously allowing for a greater range of movement. “I started with just the fingers, because I felt that was the most critical part for dexterity, and I went through about three dozen iterations,” Homer says. In May, his glove won NASA's contest—and its $200,000 prize. What's next? Homer plans to enter another NASA competition.

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