Science

New Boeing Spacesuit Revealed For Starliner Astronaut Taxi

By Donna Marie Lapena Padua , Jan 26, 2017 10:08 AM EST

The new Boeing spacesuit has recently been unveiled, and the blue color of the suit is making the astronauts look like fashion trend setters on the outer space. The sleek, new suit design will be flaunted during the missions on the CST-100 Starliner. The spacesuits were introduced to the public on social media.

Boeing showed off its new Boeing spacesuit on Jan. 25 in a Facebook Live video of the company. At the Boeing’s facility in the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the astronauts modeled the blue, pressurized outfits. 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.

According to a report on NASA, the suits were designed to be lighter and more flexible which were made possible through advanced materials and joint patterns. Another new feature to the new Boeing spacesuit is that the helmet and visors are already incorporated into the suit rather than detachable. The suits are also partnered with touchscreen-sensitive gloves and vents are placed to let the astronauts feel cooler.

The Boeing suits designed by the David Clark Company weigh only 20 pounds compared to the usual 30-pound traditional suits as was noted by Space.com. However, the spacesuits are reportedly to be worn only when the astronauts are inside the Starliner as it travels to and from the International Space Station. Christopher Ferguson, who is a Boeing employee and former Space Shuttle astronaut, revealed that the suits are not built to withstand possible micrometeoroid debris impacts. Furthermore, there are not enough layers to protect astronauts from wide thermal changes on the outer space.

The spacesuits of Boeing are basically meant to keep the crew members inside the Space Shuttle pressurized and safe until a possible hazardous situation like fire is contained. The suits are then to be used only in cases of emergencies. The company wants to make sure that the astronauts have a ready protection during a fire, a space debris breach and when pressure is lost inside the vehicle through the new Boeing spacesuit.

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