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Space & Astronomy

Boeing unveils futuristic Starliner spacesuit

By T.K. Randall
January 27, 2017 · Comment icon 5 comments

The new spacesuits will be worn aboard Boeing's new Starliner spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA / Boeing
The new design is lighter and less bulky than the spacesuits worn by the space shuttle astronauts.
One of the most important things to have when embarking on a mission in to space is a good spacesuit - something that needs to keep the wearer alive while also being lightweight enough to facilitate ease of movement and comfortable enough to be worn over an extended period of time.

The traditional orange spacesuit worn during space missions, which is known as the Advanced Crew Escape Suit ( or "pumpkin suit" due to its color ), has served NASA well over the years, but now Boeing, which is currently developing its new Starliner spacecraft to take astronauts to the International Space Station, has revealed a brand new spacesuit design featuring a host of improvements over its predecessor.

The new suits, which are blue instead of orange, are much lighter and more flexible than the old suits thanks to the use of advanced new materials and joint patterns.
The helmet and visor, which were previously separate, are now integrated in to the suits while special vents have been implemented to keep the astronauts from overheating.

The new suit has even been fitted with touchscreen-sensitive gloves for computer work.

"The most important part is that the suit will keep you alive," said astronaut Eric Boe. "It is a lot lighter, more form-fitting and it's simpler, which is always a good thing."

"Complicated systems have more ways they can break, so simple is better on something like this."

Source: | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado 8 years ago
They immediately put me in mind of Gil Gerard's Buck Rogers.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
I'm reminded more of the spacesuits in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin 8 years ago
Of course, this is an in-flight suit proposal as opposed to, say, a suit for EVA from whatever, or, walking around on the moon or Mars. Still, a step forward in suit design.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by IamthemanfromNantucket 8 years ago
Wickedly Cool.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Parsec 8 years ago
They definitely look comfier and cooler than the current ones.    I'm not so sure about the color though: aren't the current ones orange in order to be more visible in case something goes awry (just assuming, please correct me if I'm wrong). It would be like using a white color for an antarctic or a K2 mission.    Interesting the bit about the touchscreen sensitive gloves, but, although more stylistically appealing, is really a touchscreen more practical (on a spaceship) than an analogue panel?  First, they need quite big buttons on screen, otherwise with those gloves it will be pretty ea... [More]

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