Boeing unveils futuristic Starliner spacesuit
The new design is lighter and less bulky than the spacesuits worn by the space shuttle astronauts.
One of the most important things to have when embarking on a mission in to space is a good spacesuit - something that needs to keep the wearer alive while also being lightweight enough to facilitate ease of movement and comfortable enough to be worn over an extended period of time.
The traditional orange spacesuit worn during space missions, which is known as the Advanced Crew Escape Suit ( or "pumpkin suit" due to its color ), has served NASA well over the years, but now Boeing, which is currently developing its new Starliner spacecraft to take astronauts to the International Space Station, has revealed a brand new spacesuit design featuring a host of improvements over its predecessor.
The new suits, which are blue instead of orange, are much lighter and more flexible than the old suits thanks to the use of advanced new materials and joint patterns.
The helmet and visor, which were previously separate, are now integrated in to the suits while special vents have been implemented to keep the astronauts from overheating.
The new suit has even been fitted with touchscreen-sensitive gloves for computer work.
"The most important part is that the suit will keep you alive," said astronaut Eric Boe. "It is a lot lighter, more form-fitting and it's simpler, which is always a good thing."
"Complicated systems have more ways they can break, so simple is better on something like this.