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Boeing reveals its new NASA space suits

Posted on Thursday, January 26 2017 @ 13:26:51 CET by

Boeing showed off the new spacesuits that will be worn by NASA astronauts who fly onboard of the company's Starliner capsule. The new "Boeing Blue" spacesuits are more streamlined than the spacesuits from the Space Shuttle era, they're made from more flexible material, have a lower weight (9kg vs 13.6kg for the old suits), have soft helmets that are incorporated into the suit and feature touchscreen sensitive gloves.

Space.com has more details over here but it should be noted that these suits are primarily intended as emergency backup for the spacecraft's redundant life-support systems. The new suits are not intended for more demanding tasks like spacewalks.
The Boeing Blue suit, and the one that SpaceX develops, will help keep astronauts safe in the event of an emergency during trips to and from orbit. The suits are not designed for spacewalks; the large, bulky "extravehicular mobility units" that astronauts use for this latter purpose are already aboard the ISS.

"The spacesuit acts as the emergency backup to the spacecraft's redundant life-support systems," Richard Watson, subsystem manager for spacesuits in NASA's Commercial Crew Program, said in the same statement. "If everything goes perfectly on a mission, then you don't need a spacesuit. It's like having a fire extinguisher close by in the cockpit. You need it to be effective if it is needed."
The Boeing CST-100 Starliner is expected to make its first manned test flight in August 2018, putting it in a tight race with SpaceX. If all things go well, SpaceX may fly its first crewed Dragon 2 test flight in May 2018.

Boeing Blue spacesuits



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