New spacesuits for new ships

Last week in Instagram Ilona Mask there was a photo of the new SpaceX spacesuit for the manned version of the Dragon ship. According to the plan, the new ships Boeing CST-100 and Dragon v2 will fly next year, it is logical that the spacesuits have now begun to be shown to us. What will the astronauts of the near future fly to?

Small educational program

Today, spacesuits can be divided into two conventional groups - rescue ship in case of a depressurization of a spacecraft and for work in open space (ECD). For example, our astronauts fly on Soyuz in Sokol spacesuits, and work in outer space in Orlan space suits. On the Space Shuttle after the Challenger disaster, astronauts took off and landed in ACES spacesuits, but at the same time, the ship had EMU spacesuits for work in open space. In English, there are even two different names - IVA Suit (IntraVehicular Activity, intracavitary activity) and EVA Suit (ExtraVehicular Activity, extra-shipping activity). Due to different requirements, the design and appearance of spacesuits are noticeably different - shipboard is easier, more comfortable and has less autonomy, and in spacesuits for VCD, you can work out in open space for about 10 hours. The new spacex suits from SpaceX and Boeing relate to the ships, but the modified ACES (MACES) for Orion is expected to be able, apart from working in the ship, for emergency exits to space for up to four hours. In the history of astronautics, there were also spacesuits suitable for both types of activity, for example, the Soviet “Berkut” and “Hawk”, as well as the American “Gemini” and A7L for the “Apollo”.


In a fresh photo on Instagram, the appearance of the spacesuit coincides with the photos leaked to the network some time ago.

A very similar spacesuit is also visible on the 2015 video.

Information is still extremely small, Mask skillfully intrigues and causes curiosity. There was a rumor that the suit was required to look "awesome" ("badass-looking"), which is indirectly confirmed by the words of Mask on Instagram: "it was very difficult to combine aesthetics and functionality." The spacesuit does not have visible connectors for oxygen hoses from the ship (most likely they are covered with a cloth or are at the back), and it really looks stylish. Because of the slender lines, some even begin to speculate that, they say, SpaceX made a fundamentally different in design spacesuit crimp (MCP), but this is unlikely. Most likely, the designers were also inspired by the non-baggy “Mercury” spacesuit, having implemented it on a new level of technology.


At the beginning of the year, the Boeing spacesuit was introduced. Here, the designers tried to increase convenience, for example, the spacesuit is 40% lighter than other models (the weight was only 5.5 kg), the neck ring was replaced with a soft hermetic zipper, a special zipper on the stomach facilitates sitting and standing in the spacesuit, and the knit-net mesh material fights with inflation of an inflated spacesuit and does not interfere in normal flight. A separate advantage is called gloves that are compatible with capacitive touchscreens.

Two large zippers - on the back for entry and on the helmet - allow you to put on a spacesuit quickly, but can cause issues of reliability. However, lightning was successfully used on Gemini and A7L spacesuits, and even the Soviet space industry experimented with them.

Padded helmet suit G5C for "Gemini". Used in a long mission precisely because of the convenience

Version of the Soviet "Falcon" with lightning


The least stylish (but perhaps the most reliable) is the spacesuit for the Orion spacecraft, which is being developed at NASA. It is a modification of the spacesuit for ACES Space Shuttle and is easily recognizable by its characteristic orange color (in the USA they are even called “pumpkin spacesuits”).


MACES on trial

Here there is not a very comfortable neck ring, and a baggy look, but in terms of the volume and quality of the tests performed, this is most likely the leader. Also, designers are going to make it capable of exiting into space for up to 4 hours. On the ISS, such outputs usually last about two times longer, this spacesuit will not be able to replace the EMU, but this time may be enough for some tasks.

Spacesuit for the "Federation"

Naturally, after such a diversity I want to know how things are going with domestic developers. The ship "Federation" will not fly soon, but you can find information about the prototypes now being created new suits.

"Falcon-MP", "passenger"

Curiously, the video creates the feeling that the designers of NPP Zvezda went by way of maximum simplicity and convenience - arms and legs would be customizable length, so as not to make the space suit for a particular person, gloves (one of the most difficult parts of the spacesuit) were seriously simplified, instead of " guts " for entering the chest put a much faster and more comfortable lightning. The helmet still closes with a mechanical lock, but there was no solid metal ring before, so there is no serious difference in terms of convenience from lightning.

It is interesting when the designers of different enterprises go different ways. Let a hundred technical solutions flourish, it will be curious to look at how they will look and fly.


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