The Evolution of Spacesuits

The spacesuit maybe the ultimate fashion statement: A suit that is both personal spaceship and life support pod, and allows astronauts to work in the harshest of environments. See how NASA’s spacesuits evolved in this article 

Project Mercury Suit

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Here: Gordon Cooper, one of NASA’s original seven chosen astronauts chosen in 1959, poses is his Mercury flight suit.

Lunar Spacesuit

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This was the first spacesuit prototype designed in 1961 by Allyn B. Hazard for astronauts on the moon.

SK -1 Suit

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On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin ushered in the era of manned spaceflight aboard Vostok 1. During the flight, Gagarin wore an Sk-1 pressure suit seen here as he boards his spacecraft. 

Russia’s Sokol Spacesuits

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During launch and landing, Russian cosmonauts wear Sokol spacesuits. The suits date back to early in Russia’s space program.

Project Apollo Spacesuit

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Engineer Bill Peterson fits test pilot Bob Smyth in an Apollo space suit with a Lunar Excursion Module restraint harness during suit testing in 1968.

Apollo 14 Spacesuit

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Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard wering a modified version of the Apollo Space suit during suit checks before his trip to the lunar surface in 1971.

Ejection Escape Suit

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When the first shuttle flight, STS-1, lifted off on April 12, 1981, astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen wore the ejection escape suit modeled here.

Floating Free Spacesuit 

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In February 1984, shuttle astronaut Bruce McCandless became the first astronaut to float in space untethered, thanks to a jetpack-like device called the Manned Manuevering Unit, or MMU.

The Pumpkin Suit.

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The familiar orange launch and entry suit worn by shuttle crews, nicknamed the “Pumpkin Suit” for its color.

Russia’s Orlan Spacesuit

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Russia’s Orlan Spacesuits are bulkier than NASA’s EMU versions, with cosmonauts donning them by climbing through an opening in the back. They are used aboard the International Space Station for Russian Spacewalks.

Modern Sokol Spacesuits

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Expedition 39 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, has his Russian Sokol suit pressure checked in preparation for his launch onboard the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 

Chinese Launch Spacesuits

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China has also developed two spacesuit types, one for launches and landings aboard the country’s Shenzhou space capsules (image above), and another suit, the Feitian, for spacewalks.

MK III Advanced Spacesuit.

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Dr. Dean Eppler wears the MK III Advanced demonstration spacesuit during a 2002 field test of futuristic technology in Arizona.

The Future of Spacesuits 

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With his back to a lunar truck concept, an Earth-bound astronaut captures the scene at Moses lake, Wash., during a lunar robot demonstration in June 2008.

Prototype Spacesuits

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Astronauts, engineers and scientists wearing prototype spacesuits, driving prototype lunar rovers and simulating scientific work at Moses lake, Wash., as part of NASA’s demonstration of concepts for living and working on the lunar surface.

Z – 1 Spacesuit 2

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The Z-1  spacesuit will potentially be used to explore different planets. the suits are being designed to be used for both micro-gravity and planetary Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs).

Z – 2 Spacesuit.

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The Z-2 is a planetary exploration suit designed for exploring the surface of the Moon, Mars, and any other landforms a spacecraft can land on.

MIT’s BioSuit

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The MIT BioSuit, a skintight spacesuit that offers improved mobility and reduced mass compared to modern gas-pressurized spacesuits.

SpaceX Spacesuit Prototype 

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Elon Musk, in a SpaceX prototype helmet, believes his company will be able to send passengers to Mars in approximately ten years.

Sources:

“A suit for the First Man on the Moon (1961)”, paleofuture.com (2009) 

“Evolution of the Spacesuits in Pictures (Space Tech Gallery)”, space.com (2014)

“NASA’s Next Prototype Spacesuit Has a Brand New Look, and it’s all thanks to you.”, NASA (2014)

“Shrink-wrapping spacesuits”, Jennifer Chu, news.mit.edu (2014)

“Elon Musk Wants to Change How (and Where) Humans Live”, Meghan Daum, vogue.com (2015)

cover

Fabio Evangelista is a Brazilian writer.

Crossed Paths is the first book of the Myra-Hati trilogy, an epic adventure in a post-apocalyptic world, for the lovers of sci-fi / fantasy genre. This is the author’s first work published in America.

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