Why SpaceX’s Spacesuit Looks So Cool?: Designing a spacesuit is not an easy task. Companies usually place a high priority on functionality rather than aesthetic appearance. But, on the other hand, SpaceX really pushed the envelope with its tuxedo-like gorgeous spacesuits. That too without sacrificing efficiency!
So, how does SpaceX’s spacesuit look so good while still being incredibly functional? What makes them so different?
For a brief moment on May 30, 2020, we were given a glimpse into the future of space travel. The successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Orbital Rocket System carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station was historic in that it was the first time NASA astronauts had ever flown in a privately developed spacecraft. had taken flight.
But in addition to that, the mission also revealed the next generation of astronaut wear, the SpaceX spacesuit. As they’ve been called, the Starman suits are a far cry from the heavy orange Shuttle flight suits that both Bob and Doug last took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
These futuristic spacesuits were built at SpaceX’s California facility, to be sleeker and thinner than typical NASA all-ins, to provide the same level of protection against loss of air pressure in the capsule.
Spacesuits are usually thick and heavy enough to protect against fluctuations in oxygen levels and pressure, but Strowman suits, on the other hand, are so thin that after their reveal in 2018, company founder Elon Musk shared a related Instagram account. Followers had to be reassured.
On February 6, 2018, Musk told reporters at a news conference: “It definitely works. You can jump into a vacuum chamber with it, and that’s fine.” This is great news for astronauts who may wear Starman suits on future SpaceX missions.
But, in low-pressure environments, like the vacuum of space, humans run into all kinds of physical problems: trapped gases expand, oxygen (O2) doesn’t flow properly, and fainting is imminent.
Suits like Strowman are designed with capsules in mind, keeping crew members safe and ensuring they have enough oxygen, appropriate temperature, and atmospheric pressure within acceptable limits.
However, there are more dangers in space than in empty space, and you’re not as likely to see an actual astronaut in skimpy clothing as Starman. According to Musk, the SpaceX suit is for intravesical use only.
Wearing a suit like Starman on an actual spacewalk exposes the wearer to temperatures between 250 °F (121 °C) to minus 250 °F (minus 156 °C), an uninterrupted shower of stellar radiation, and a lack of oxygen. Will happen. Will kill a real astronaut in minutes.
Well, really. Space is a terrible place and designing a spacesuit is no easy task. However, we have to admit that SpaceX’s Starman spacesuit is truly remarkable. The spacesuit has a number of smart technology features that make it more of a Crew Dragon extension.
The soot provides pressure, protecting against possible sedimentation. A port on the suit’s thigh connects to life support systems, including air and electricity. The suit also includes touchscreen-compatible gloves and a flame-retardant outer layer.
The helmet is custom manufactured using 3D printing technology and includes mechanisms for integrated valves, visor retraction and locking mechanisms, and microphones.
In addition to the amount of life-supporting technology, the SpaceX spacesuit design has been optimized for optimum protection and comfort for its wearers. “Obviously it’s protecting the crew’s head… but it also has microphones, as well as valves that are controlling the pressure in the suit,” says Chris Trigg, SpaceX Spacesuit and Crew Equipment Manager.
We had to design the gloves so that they would work with the touchscreen, so the gloves have to do many other things like the rest of the suit.
So all those things had to come together… the suit isn’t just a piece of hardware, it’s not just a suit. This is a very personal thing. This is a bob suit. It’s Doug’s suit.” And it’s because of that personal touch, Bob Bacon and Doug Hurley both gave the suits a five-star rating. Bob Bacon noted that the company did “an excellent job of making them fit for us,” He said, “Both Doug and I, we have to give Suits a five-star rating.
Each suit is point-designed for a very specific mission. It’s a point-designed so that we can sit in our seats and protect ourselves if there’s a fire or any kind of problem with the Dragon Board environment – it’s leaking, or there’s smoke in it or anything like that.
And so these suits that didn’t do the job for us, which was nice, but it was clear they were ready. Indeed they were, but it took a lot of time and research for SpaceX to get there – about 4 years.
In 2016, Elon Musk hired Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez to design a spacesuit for his company. Fernandez is best known for creating costumes for superheroes in films such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Like his capsules and launch vehicles, Musk wanted his suits to look something that had never been seen before. According to Fernandez, Musk kept saying, “Anyone looks better in a tuxedo, no matter what shape or size they are.”
Therefore, the goal was to have the astronauts wear the suit and “look better than what they did without it, like a tux.” Initially, Fernandez drew inspiration from Musk when creating an all-black costume that resembled the suit from the film Iron Man (2008).
Musk was like none other than fictional billionaire-turned-superhero Tony Stark when he was photographed in this newly designed suit for a Vogue photoshoot.
The all-black L&E outfit was designed to contrast strongly with the clean white interior with black details of the Dragon Capsule. But of course, costume designers are not spacesuit engineers. Fernandez turned over the design to the spacesuit engineers currently working in the field.
We don’t know who was involved or how it was done, but we do know that the end result retained some aesthetic design elements from the original.
Musk revealed the first signs of living and turning in a prototype when he launched the 2008 Tesla Model S Roadster at the test launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018. A mannequin in a spacesuit was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car.
But in a dramatic twist, the dress was almost entirely white instead of black. One of the changes spacesuit engineers would have made was to change the heat-absorbing all-black outfit to an all-white one that could reflect bright sunlight.
However, we must admit that the change was for the better. According to Kathleen Lewis, curator of international space programs and spacesuits at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, “Suits are charismatic mammals of space hardware.
They evoke the human experience. In fact, the SpaceX suit that stands out most is a James Bond tuxedo if Tony Stark redesigned it as an upgrade for James Tiberius Kirk’s next big adventure.
Streamlined, graphic, and articulated, the suits are more a part of the pop culture-comic continuum of the space genre than the NASA continuum. And no, it was not a mistake. This is how the suit should have looked.
When it comes to capturing the public’s imagination around space travel, Musk believes style matters. He understands that the way something looks adds to the story. Musk says, “You see spacesuits in movies — they look good, they don’t work well.
You can make a spacesuit that works, but it doesn’t look good, because basically, it’s a pressure suit that has to survive in a vacuum. But Musk said he wants to design a spacesuit to inspire children to become astronauts and wear the uniforms themselves – “to be fired”.
“Everyone should be excited that this is a thing made by humans, for humans,” he says. Musk has long wanted to rekindle the public interest in human space exploration. In fact, it was this goal that propelled Musk and SpaceX to where they are today.
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Information Source: Youtube – Futurephile
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