Connect with us

Technology

SpaceX unveils new, sleek space suits ahead of upcoming historic mission

Avatar

Published

on

SpaceX EVA suit helmet close up

SpaceX has unveiled its new Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suits that could make their debut in low Earth orbit by the end of this summer. The new uniform is described as an evolution of the spacesuits currently worn by astronauts aboard Dragon missions, which are designed solely to survive in pressurized environments. In contrast, the EVA suits will allow astronauts to work both inside and outside their capsule as needed, thanks to a number of improvements in material manufacturing, joint design, improved redundancy safeguards, as well as the integration of a helmet visor heads-up display ( HUD).

Announced during the weekendthe SpaceX EVA suits will be worn by the four crew members who will participate in the first mission of the Polaris program, Polaris Dawn. First launched in 2022, the Polaris program is a joint venture through SpaceX intended to “rapidly improve the capabilities of human spaceflight,” according to its website. Scheduled for no earlier than summer 2024, Polaris Dawn will mark the first commercial spacewalk, as well as the first spacewalk involving four astronauts simultaneously. While making history outside their Dragon capsule, the crew will be the first to test Starlink laser-based communications systems that SpaceX says will be critical for future missions to the moon and eventually Mars.

The four astronauts of Polaris Dawn will not carry out their mission until the summer of 2024. SpaceX

Mobility is central to SpaceX’s teaser video posted on X on May 4, with an EVA suit wearer showing off their smooth range of motion for fingers, shoulders and elbows. If PCMag.com Also detailed on Monday, SpaceX EVA suits are constructed with a variety of textile-based thermal materials and include semi-rigid rotator joints that enable work in both pressurized and unpressurized environments. For the boots, designers used the same temperature-resistant material found in the Falcon 9 rocket’s intermediate stage and the Dragon capsule’s trunk.

Polaris Dawn astronauts will also wear 3D-printed polycarbonate helmets with visors coated with copper and indium tin oxide, in addition to anti-reflective and anti-fog treatments. During the spacewalk, approximately 700 kilometers above Earth, each crew member’s helmet will project a built-in heads-up display (HUD) to provide real-time pressure, temperature and relative humidity readings.

[Related: Moon-bound Artemis III spacesuits have some functional luxury sewn in.]

Similar to the Prada-designed outfits for NASA’s Artemis III astronauts, the SpaceX EVA suit is also intended to illustrate a future where all kinds of body types can live and work beyond Earth. SpaceX explains that all EVA upgrades are scalable by design, allowing customization for “different body types as SpaceX seeks to create greater accessibility to space for all humanity.” The proposed goal of producing ‘millions’ of space suits for life on multiple planets may seem far-fetched at this point, but it has to start somewhere – even if there are only four at the moment.