x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

Stylish and slimline SpaceX suit takes the space out of spacesuit

Elon Musk unveils his company’s lightweight spacesuit on Instagram

This undated image made available by Elon Musk on Wednesday shows a new spacesuit from his company SpaceX. It's designed for its crewed flights planned for 2018. SpaceX via AP
This undated image made available by Elon Musk on Wednesday shows a new spacesuit from his company SpaceX. It's designed for its crewed flights planned for 2018. SpaceX via AP

A new sleek white spacesuit design that combines fashion and function was unveiled by SpaceX’s Elon Musk on Wednesday.

Musk, the chief executive and founder of the space transport company that aims to colonise Mars, posted a photo of the spacesuit on his Instagram page, saying that more details will come in a few days.

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

The lightweight, slim-design spacesuit and helmet, in stark contrast to the more bulky spacesuits we’ve come to know, has already been tested and Musk said it is “not a mockup”.

The serial entrepreneur said that striking the balance between esthetics and function was “incredibly hard”.

“First picture of SpaceX spacesuit. More in days to follow. Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately,” said Musk in the post.

Spacesuits must perform several functions to allow astronauts to work safely and comfortably, inside or outside a spacecraft.

It must be able to regulate temperature, provide a stable internal pressure and supply of breathable oxygen while eliminating carbon dioxide and allowing for movement and communication.

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SpaceX was founded in 2002 to revolutionise space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets, starting with Mars.

It designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft.

This year SpaceX successfully launched a used rocket into orbit again – a milestone on the road to full and rapid rocket reusability, and it is also developing a crew version of its Dragon cargo capsule for NASA astronauts.

Boeing is also working to get US astronauts flying again from home soil and is going for blue spacesuits for its Starliner capsules, according to reports.

US astronauts last rocketed into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 2011. Since then they’ve been riding in Russian rockets to get to the International Space Station due to Nasa budget constraints.