NASA Unveils New Starliner Spacesuits

NASA Unveils New Starliner Spacesuits

Boeing paid close to attention to making their new suit as lightweight and flexible as possible.

NASA has a new astronaut suit and is tailored to fit those who will go aboard the Boeing's Starliner spacecraft. The spacesuits are said to be relatively slim and the "Boeing Blue" color makes the suit distinguishable to the traditional white suits that the NASA astronauts use during their spacewalks.

The reveal is made as the space company continues moving toward flight tests of its spacecraft and launch systems that will haul astronauts to the International Space Station.

Boeing has unveiled the bright blue spacesuit that astronauts will wear aboard the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

Boeing's suit, designed with the Massachusetts-based David Clark Co., weighs about 12 pounds, compared with 30 pounds for NASA's orange suits formally called the Advanced Crew Escape Suit, or ACES.

Boeing NASA
Boeing NASA

The spacesuit acts as the emergency backup for the Starliner voyagers should multiple life support systems fail. Ferguson claims that you can lie in the cockpit without any real need for external cooling, and it is comfortable enough to stand around in without developing an uncomfortable "heat load". If something goes wrong, the suit pressurizes immediately, according to the release. The blue suits aren't built to withstand impacts from micrometeoroid debris, and there aren't enough layers to protect people from the wide thermal changes experienced in space.

The suits are improvements on the launch and entry suits worn by Space Shuttle astronauts.

NASA isn't thrilled about having to pay Russia billions of dollars to launch United States astronauts on Russian rockets inside of Russian spacesuits. Eric Boe, Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley and Sunita Williams are the astronauts preparing for commercial missions to man the International Space Station. "[And] could withstand the pressure differentials; could get the crew down from an extreme situation, rather it be a fire or a cabin leak", Ferguson said.

From this point, Boeing will continue fit checks and other testing alongside the astronauts as all the teams train for the missions and push toward flight tests.

Boeing's suit includes boots that resemble running shoes, designed in collaboration with Reebok.

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